OGDEN — Scott Senjo, the Weber State University professor who was criticized for controversial tweets posted in the wake of George Floyd’s death, has resigned from the school.
"I agree that my tweets were far beyond the realm of acceptable university policy as well as acceptable social norms,” he said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “I made those tweets in the oftentimes vulgar, extreme back-and-forth that can occur on Twitter and they were simply wrong. I apologize for my irresponsible behavior and resign my position, effective immediately."
Senjo worked in the criminal justice department and had been placed on paid leave on Tuesday while the university conducted a review of the situation, according to a statement from the university.
Senjo tweeted comments from the now-deleted @ProfSenjo account about the news media and protesters in the wake of Floyd’s May 25 death in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Floyd’s death, which came after police officer Derek Chauvin was seen pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, has led to fervent protests in Minneapolis and other cities nationwide, including Salt Lake City.
One of Senjo’s tweets was sent in reply to a post from a Wall Street Journal reporter who said he was injured in a confrontation with a New York City police, despite wearing a press credential and holding his hands up. Senjo replied, “Excellent. If I was the cop, you wouldn’t be able to tweet.”
In another post, Senjo commented on a video of a New York Police Department car seen driving into a crowd of protesters. “That’s not how I would have driven the car into the crowd,” the tweet said.
“The Twitter posts in question were hurtful and inconsistent with the values of Weber State University and our work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment,” the university said in a news release Wednesday. “We know the views expressed in these tweets make many of our students and members of our campus community feel isolated or unsupported.”
The university’s statement said Senjo was not asked to resign, but sent an email to his department chair and college dean tendering his resignation. However, Senjo said in his email “The university has ordered me to resign my position due to my irresponsible tweeting activity over the last several months.”
In the news release, the university said it appreciated the emails and social media comments from students, faculty and alumni who shared concerns about Senjo’s conduct.
“We remain committed to creating a campus environment where all are welcome, heard, valued and supported,” the university said.