University of Iowa professor Malik Juweid faces losing his tenure after sending at least 27 e-mails this year subjecting colleagues to "personal vilification and verbal abuse," in language that the university called "prejudiced, insulting, inflammatory" and "vitriolic" in tone, reports the Daily Iowan.
The controversy began in December, when Juweid filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission accusing radiology department head Laurie Fajardo of calling him an "academic terrorist," and referring to a Pakistani member of staff as "Osama bin Laden." Juweid said he felt discriminated against by Fajardo and other members of the department, but a university review found that although Fajardo likely made derogatory comments, they did not constitute discrimination, reports the Associated Press.
Juweid, a radiology professor, was put on paid leave on recommendation from the university's threat assessment team before the school began investigating the case on Jan. 12th. Since that time, Juweid has been forbidden from seeing patients, continuing research and entering campus without a police escort.
Now, the university is saying that Juweid's allegations against fellow faculty members -- he has called them anti-Arab and anti-Muslim -- mark an attack on his colleagues.
In an e-mail to Juweid obtained by the AP, Iowa Associate Provost Tom Rice wrote that the professor had "disparaged and attacked the character and integrity of colleagues at the university and other institutions."
"Even if there are valid reasons to disagree with the actions or statements of the various people you identified in these remarks, your abusive tone is unprofessional, unnecessary, and embarrassing to yourself and the university," Rice wrote.
For his part, Juweid stands by what he's written. He told the AP that the e-mails "always represented how I felt, and they reflected my interpretation of what's happening around me, and how I was treated differently from others who had different backgrounds."
Do you think Juweid was justified in his e-mailed remarks, or should he be punished for his actions? Let us know how what you think in the comments section.