SALT LAKE CITY — Weber State University criminal justice studies professor Scott Senjo tendered his resignation — again — after posting tweets that university officials described as “abhorrent” and inconsistent with university values.
Senjo resigned in early June, rescinded his resignation midmonth and has now resigned again, according to a statement issued Tuesday.
In an email to the university community, Weber State University President Brad Mortensen wrote: “I am writing to inform you of the resignation of criminal justice professor Scott Senjo. This is a permanent separation, and he is no longer employed by the university.”
Senjo, who had taught at the university for 20 years, posted messages on his personal Twitter account following the death of George Floyd that Weber State officials said “promoted violence and caused safety concerns.”
Some 2,445 people signed an online petition calling for Senjo’s ouster.
“While this development will end the university processes that were set in motion on June 1, I recognize that the emotional toll of the last several weeks lingers,” Mortensen wrote. “This situation has also provided an opportunity for self reflection; to consider who we are, what we stand for and what we value.”
As an institution of higher education, Weber State University strives to create a diverse and inclusive institution where all feel welcome, he said.
“We condemn language that promotes violence, diminishes individuals or makes people feel unsafe. At the same time, we value an individual’s right to freedom of expression whether or not we agree with perspectives they share,” the president said.
Moving forward, Mortensen encouraged the “Weber State family” to “reflect on what we can learn from one another and how we can all make a difference in the lives of others as we work to identify and eradicate systemic racism and transform our university to a better place.”
Mortensen urged students, faculty and staff to attend one of the university’s future Town Hall Meetings on Race and sign up for WSU’s team in the YWCA Utah social justice challenge. “Watch for opportunities to join a campus ally group or participate in the Political Engagement Coalition’s Campus Climate Conversations,” he wrote.
Senjo — responding to a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh, who wrote that his ankle was injured and glasses knocked off when he was reportedly struck in the face by New York police multiple times with riot shields despite wearing a press credential and holding his hands up while covering a protest — tweeted:
“Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn’t be able to tweet.”
In another tweet, @ProfSenjo referred to protesters vandalizing the CNN building in Atlanta, saying: “Nothing about this makes me happy but there’s this tiny sense of rightness in the burning of the CNN headquarters.”
Still another addressed a widely viewed video of New York Police Department vehicles that plowed into a crowd of protesters. The tweet said: “That’s not how I would have driven the car into the crowd.”
When Senjo resigned on June 3, he noted in an email to the head of his department, “I studied the situation and the public fury is too great. I have to resign immediately. There’s no other option.”
In a statement at that time, the university said it did not ask for his resignation. But in a subsequent email to media outlets, Senjo said he was ordered to resign his position due to his “irresponsible tweeting activity over the last several months.”
Senjo could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.