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Why UC Davis hasn't fired English professor over tweets that cops should be killed

After a student journalist published an article that spotlighted controversial tweets from UC Davis Professor Joshua Clover, people have wondered: why hasn't the school fired him?

SACRAMENTO, Calif — The UC Davis Aggie published a column article that illuminated the tweets of a tenured professor at the University that was a cause for concern for people of the greater community.

Joshua Clover, UC Davis' English professor, tweeted that he thought police should be killed:

  • I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore" — tweeted on Nov. 27, 2014.
  • "I mean, it's easier to shoot cops when their backs are turned, no?" — tweeted on Dec. 27, 2014.

UC Davis Provost Ralph J. Hexter released a prepared statement about Clover's tweets"

"The UC Davis administration condemns the statement of Professor Clover to which you refer. It does not reflect our institutional values, and we find it unconscionable that anyone would condone much less appear to advocate murder. A young police officer was killed serving the city of Davis. We mourn her loss and express our gratitude to all who risk their lives protecting us. We support law enforcement, and the UC Davis Police Department and Chief Joe Farrow have been and remain critical partners to our community."

The University also said in that press release that the school cannot simply fire the professor.

Currently, Chancellor Gary S. May has the campus legal team reviewing Clover's conduct and is waiting for their advice so he can better consult the University of California President Janet Napolitano. Napolitano would also need to seek consultation from the  Academic Senate which could hold a hearing for Clover.

If Napolitano decided to recommend to the Board of Regents to dismiss the professor, then the Board of Regents would vote on whether to dismiss Clover or not to dismiss him.

When ABC10 asked Clover for a statement, he said over email, "On the day that police have as much to fear from literature professors as Black kids do from police, I will definitely have a statement. Until then, I have nothing further to add."

Clover's twitter account has been made private since the article came out.


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