MSU trustee calls professor's anti-Republican rant 'disturbing' and 'offensive'

Timothy Dionisopoulos
Former Reporter

A trustee of Michigan State University (MSU) blasted a Michigan State University (MSU) professor's anti-Republican rant caught which was caught on video by a student last week. 

Trustee Mitch Lyons criticized the Professor Penn’s in-class rant against the GOP.

In an interview with Campus Reform on Wednesday, MSU trustee Mitch Lyons said he found Prof. William Penn's comments "disturbing."

“Well we’re looking into it and verifying, it’s hard to see, I have to believe it is the professor but we have to verify that,” said Lyons.  

“The comments themselves were disturbing, from my take, regardless of the political spectrum you’re on, it’s certainly not fostering a safe place to learn. It was intimidating, offensive in nature, and there’s no place for that in our university."

Lyons said Penn’s comments created a hostile campus culture.

"In this instance he’s taking his views and espousing them on impressionable kids and worse yet not only is he sharing his opinion but he doesn’t appear to be very open to others with opposing opinions which certainly isn’t the culture we want on campus.”

An eight minute video showed Penn going on an in-class rant last Thursday where he claimed Republicans are “cheap” and “raped” the country. 

The video also shows Penn attacking students who disagreed with him and alleging the GOP is racially motivated to suppress votes.

MSU administrators told Campus Reform Tuesday evening they are investigating Penn’s conduct.

Lyons told Campus Reform he thinks other trustees will agree that the comments are out of line.

When asked what actions would be taken, Lyons he said there’s a protocol to follow but that he expects an update by late next week when the trustees have their meeting.

The State News reports that Penn has been told to remain silent by the MSU's provost office.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Former Reporter
Tim Dionisopoulos is a former reporter for Campus Reform and communications editor in the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Tim joined Campus Reform in the summer of 2011, and his stories were cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets. Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.
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