University of North Carolina Wilmington professor to retire following campus uproar over tweets
A professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington who angered the campus community with tweets the school deemed “vile and inexcusable” has decided to retire, according to a statement from the university.
Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at UNCW, will retire effective August 1, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said in a statement posted on the university’s website.
“Over the past several weeks, many of you have inquired about the status of a UNCW faculty member, Dr. Mike Adams, in light of the public attention generated by comments he made on his personal social media channels. We can now share the update that after a discussion with Chancellor Sartarelli, Dr. Adams has decided to retire from UNCW, effective August 1, 2020. We will have no further comment on this matter at this time, but we plan to share an update later this week regarding how we hope to move forward as a university community,” Sartarelli said.
CNN left a message for Adams seeking comment.
Adams’ impending retirement marks the end of a tumultuous few weeks for the UNCW community.
On May 29, Adams tweeted, “This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!”
Roy Cooper is North Carolina’s Democratic governor.
Adams’ tweet was sent a week after the state moved into phase two of reopening and a few days after protests erupted over the May 25 killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
Another tweet from Adams on May 28 read, “Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.”
Adams is the author of the book “Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus.”
In a statement to CNN on June 6, UNCW called Adams’ messages “vile and inexcusable.”
“We are listening to the outrage being expressed regarding the vile and inexcusable comments made by a UNCW faculty member,” the university said in the statement. “However, we are not just listening; we can confirm we are very carefully and assertively reviewing our options in terms of how to proceed. We are not able to comment further at this time, as this is a personnel matter.”
Adams’ remarks on social media also drew the ire of Wilmington resident and actor Orlando Jones, who called his actions “a PROBLEM” in a tweet.
In 2016, another Change.org petition called for Adams’ removal after Adams published an article titled “A ‘Queer Muslim’ Jihad?” on right-wing news site The Daily Wire. In the article, Adams wrote about a Muslim refugee and LGBT student activist at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
In 2006, Adams was denied a promotion at the university due to his conservative views, according to the Wilmington Star News.
Adams sued the university and won in 2014 after a jury determined that Adams’ speech was a factor in the decision to not promote him, according to court documents. The federal court also ordered the university to pay Adams roughly $50,000 in back pay and over $600,000 for attorney’s fees and other costs, the Star News reported.