Kent State University is refusing to terminate Professor Julio Pino, despite his documented support for terrorism including Al-Qaeda and ISIS and ongoing FBI investigation.
However, while KSU's tolerance for free speech extends to advocacy of terrorism and genocide, it apparently doesn't extend to non-violent road rage. Last April, the university fired a professor of 10 years after a video emerged of his involvement in a confrontation with a driver that he says nearly struck a girl because he was texting while driving.
Yes, you read that correctly. Kent State University fired a non-tenured professor after he was charged with a misdemeanor for losing his temper at another driver. Yet, the university is refusing to fire a pro-terrorism tenured professor who violates faculty rules, is under FBI investigation for possibly recruiting students for ISIS and is arguably guilty of the same misdemeanor as the terminated professor (see below).
The terminated professor, Linden Adkins, says he confronted the driver after he saw him texting while driving, drove through a stop sign and a student had to jump out of the way. Akins is seen yelling that the driver is a "moron" and leaning onto the windshield, at which point it sped away and knocked him to the ground. Adkins says he did so to see the face of the driver more clearly than through the side window that was tinted.
"I didn't get violent. I didn't get threatening. But I did want to make my point to him…Maybe I shouldn't have been quite as intense, but at the same time, is it possible that my being that intense saved a future life?" he said.
Adkins was charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor of "aggravated menacing." Ohio law defines the violation as when someone "knowingly cause[s] another to believe that the offender will cause serious physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person's unborn, or a member of the other person's immediate family."
It continues, "the other person's belief may be based on words or conduct of the offender that are directed at or identify a corporation, association, or other organization that employs the other person or to which the other person belongs."
Shouting "Death to Israel" at a former Israeli diplomat on campus hosted by the Jewish Studies Program at KSU—as Pino did in 2011—certainly fits that definition of "aggravated menacing." So does several other outrageous activities of his, such as a threatening letter to pro-Israel academics, support for suicide bombings of Jews, and support for Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists who target all Americans. But Pino has tenure and wasn't charged.
In another related development, the Beacon Journal obtained performance reviews of Pino. While the "vast majority were positive," the negative ones are shocking.
Six complaints came from one class last year and referred to offensive sexual jokes made in the classroom. One wrote, "No professionalism at all considering every class he mentioned how he was going to get high and drunk and find 18-year old girls to have sexual relations with."
Another wrote, "No respect shown when he talks about being high and drunk and raping little girls."
Two others more broadly called him "obnoxious" and "rude."
As we wrote previously, other students complained about Pino’s extremist beliefs (including support for violence and torture committed by other countries), disrespect for the KSU leadership and repeated use of the word "nigga [slang for nigger]." There are also more generic complaints posted online.
Pino responded to the negative performance reviews by saying they are "fabrications and falsifications," a denial that brings to mind his claim that his social media posts are merely "entertainment" open to interpretation.
KSU has more than enough reason to terminate Professor Pino or to at least put him on an extended leave of absence. Yet, the school didn't even increase security after news broke that the FBI was investigating him as a possible ISIS recruiter.
Thankfully, students and others in the area see the seriousness of the situation. The danger is not lost on Kent State student Sophia Witt, who is studying global strategy with a minor in Jewish studies and founded Students Supporting Israel on campus. Here is her well-stated summary of the problem:
"You can tell that there’s something off about this guy from his comments that he’s previously made and the anti-Semitism that he’s been known for. I’m fearful for campus, especially the pro-Israel community.
“The problem is you can't ensure someone's safety when it comes to terrorism. A person can grab a knife right now and stab someone. [KSU] President Warren doesn't have the say-so of whether someone does that.
“I feel that it's the university's duty as an establishment to ensure the safety of its students and I don't feel like that's being done. It's really disheartening and it shows a little bit of a lack of integrity for Kent State."
For further background on this developing controversy, please read the Clarion Project's previous reports here:
Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.