- The head of Kent State's history department was relieved of his duties for approving a professional leave to the United Arab Emirates for a faculty member who has contributed material to a jihadist Web site.
John Jameson was fired because he didn't follow university protocol in granting the fully paid leave for Julio ''Assad'' Pino, a Muslim convert and associate professor. Jameson remains a tenured professor.
Kent State spokesman Ron Kirksey said the university would have taken the same action with other department chairs in similar situations.
He said Jameson should have approached the interim dean of the college, then the provost's office instead of authorizing the leave on his own for the Nov. 1 conference.
Jameson said the reason for his firing was more subtle.
Some administrators and faculty ''were upset because Assad was going to this area of the world'' and didn't want any more bad publicity about him, Jameson said.
- Pino said he was eager to take part in the six-week program on Arabic language and culture sponsored by the Zayed House for Islamic Culture in the city of Al Ain. Some American imams are taking part in the program, according to news reports.
Pino is there now, but jumping on the next flight back because he can't afford to take the time unpaid.
This is the latest example of Pino's odd arrogance. Instead of acknowledging that he holds a minority view that makes people uncomfortable, he sticks it all in people's faces and dares you to tolerate him. Instead of acknowledging that he shouldn't have gone near Global War and explaining carefully what he did and did not contribute there, he wraps himself in the First Amendment, deepening the suspicion that he was the jihadist blogger and not just a source.
And now. Any rational person would understand that a radical Muslim logging time at a Mideast Islamic Center would raise questions. So do Pino and his chair makes sure everything is done to spec? No. He gets oral authority to travel on the taxpayer's dime and jumps on a plane. And now we are all shocked shocked that the chair lost his position.
Further reaction from Puddle Pirate.