A conservative professor at the University of New Mexico is facing a one-year unpaid suspension after he attempted to end an exchange of flirty emails with a graduate student. A VP for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) calls the investigation “one of the most egregious cases of university malfeasance” she has seen in her career.
According to a report by Reason, University of New Mexico Professor Nick Flor, an adviser to conservative groups on campus, is facing an investigation after exchanging a series of flirtatious emails with a 30-year-old graduate student. Flor and the grad student reportedly did not have physical contact, and the student did not attend Flor’s classes or work for him in any capacity. Flor filed a complaint claiming the grad student blackmailed him after he attempted to put a stop to the email exchange, which led to a university investigation — of Flor himself. The university found Flor responsible without granting him a hearing or the opportunity to question his accuser, suspending him a year without pay.
FIRE, a non-profit that defends free speech and due process rights on campus, claims that the University of New Mexico has violated Flor’s due process rights. Samantha Harris, FIRE’s vice president for procedural advocacy, argued that this is “one of the most egregious cases of university malfeasance” that she has seen in her career.
“This is one of the most egregious cases of university malfeasance that I have seen in my nearly 15 years with FIRE,” Harris said in a comment. “The university found Professor Flor responsible with zero due process—no hearing, no opportunity to question his accuser—in a case where credibility was of critical importance.” FIRE has taken Flor’s case, and is urging the University of New Mexico to reverse course on its treatment of the professor.
“I am glad we crossed paths the other day….” the student wrote in one email to Flor. “It was likely meant to happen, as are most if not all things in the Universe…..” In other emails, the student sent Flor romantic songs and frequently called him “babe.” Flor actively participated in the correspondence, which he called “bad judgment.”
The student, who has remained anonymous, told the University of New Mexico that Flor should be fired. She accused Flor of subjecting her to “retaliatory action.”
“I believe that Professor Flor should be fired,” the student wrote in her victim statement. “Going through this process, and in particular, being the subject of retaliatory action and conduct by an instructor for exercising my civil rights has been nothing short of excruciating, daunting, and overwhelming. I have had to witness and endure, first-hand, the reality and influence of the power dynamic a faculty member inevitably and undeniably has over a student.”
In a comment to Breitbart News, Professor Flor said that he is concerned that with the current climate on college campuses. According to Flor, “an accusation is tantamount to guilt.” Moreover, Flor argues that those accused of misconduct will not be afforded a legitimate opportunity to defend themselves.
“In the current climate, where an accusation is tantamount to guilt, this can happen to anyone. Even if the entire truth is laid out before them, as in my case, they are so bent on punishing sexual misconduct — real or imaginary — that they will twist the facts to suit their narrative, regardless of the truth,” Flor said. “And that is terrifying especially in academia where you expect the truth to win out.”
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.