Officials at the University of Arizona say they are not now employing the Tucson executive who harassed a Chick-fil-A employee on Aug.1, but refused to say if he will eventually be rehired by the university as a teacher.
“He presently doesn’t hold employment” at the university, university spokeswoman Jennifer Fitzenberger said when asked by The Daily Caller if he will be rehired by the taxpayer-funded university.
She also declined to say if the university would denounce Smith’s remarks, or schedule mandatory “diversity training,” or stage a “teach-in” to offset Smith’s controversial statements.
They’ll likely “wait for the heat to subside and then gladly welcome him with open arms,” said Tom Lucero, who served for 12 years as a regent at the University of Colorado, and is now a talk-radio host at Colorado’s Newstalk 1310 KFKA.
Smith held an appointment as an “adjunct lecturer, finance (non-tenure eligible) in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona from January 2, 2012, to May 20, 2012,” reads the university’s Aug. 2 statement.
“He presently holds no appointment with the university,” the statement added.
Smith was also fired by his employer on Aug. 2.
On Aug. 1, Smith taped his attempted confrontation with a Chick-fil-A cashier. “Chick-fil-A is a hateful corporation. … The corporation gives money to hate groups,” he told the employee.
Smith confronted the employee after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told an interviewer that he supports traditional marriage.
That statement is controversial among progressives, who wish to revamp marriage to include same-sex unions.
The taxpayer-funded university likely fired Smith because it is worried about a public push-back, Lucero said.
“Just like every public university in America, [the university] is concerned with their image with state legislators and alums and how it is going to impact fundraising,” Lucero told The Daily Caller.
However, he added, the university officials likely share Smith’s views.
“My translation of their statement: ‘We’re thankful Mr. Smith is not currently under contract and we don’t have to defend his behavior with legislators and alums [but] of course we agree with what Mr. Smith said,’” said Lucero.
The university’s website declares the university to be a supporter of “diversity.”
It “strives to provide an environment where a free and respectful exchange of ideas is valued and encouraged … [and] to have a workforce that is diverse and respectful of different viewpoints and where opinions are respected.”