MSU Texas President responds to professor’s controversial Facebook comment

Update: As of September, 2021 Dr. Nathan Jun no longer works for Midwestern State University.

Midwestern State University President Suzanne Shipley released a statement Thursday, Oct. 1, in response to an MSU Texas professor’s Facebook post about strangling police officers.

Professor of philosophy Nathan Jun said, “I want the entire world to burn until the last cop is strangled with the intestines of the last capitalist, who is strangled in turn with the intestines of the last politician.”

Shipley condemed Jun’s comments and expressed understanding of the disappointment MSU Texas community members have voiced.

“In the week since the abhorrent and disgusting social media post by MSU professor Nathan Jun became public, I have read, listened to, and responded to comments and concerns by our valued supporters,” Shipley said. “First, let me say that I understand fully your disappointment in what you proudly claim as an alma mater, a workplace, a treasured community resource. It is difficult for us who work here to see our image so needlessly diminished.”

In the statement, Shipley addressed concerns from MSU Texas supporters.

“I have shared with many of you the limitations that we as a state institution face. Matters of speech are treated very differently for a state employer than they are for a private employer. The decisions we make are subject to the First Amendment, which means that even speech that is repugnant, when classified as the free speech of a private citizen, is protected speech.”

MSU Texas is under advisement from the Attorney General of the State of Texas and will not require students to enroll in Jun’s classes.

“We are committed to monitoring this situation with [the Attorney General of the State of Texas] guidance and will take decisive action if a line is crossed beyond that of speech protected by the First Amendment. Additionally, no students will be required to enroll in or complete Professor Jun’s courses.”

Shipley ended her statement by thanking the MSU Texas community and asked not to judge the university for Jun’s comments.

“I will close by thanking all of you in this community for having contributed so loyally to the university that MSU has become. We urge you not to judge our University by the actions of a single faculty member,” Shipley said. “I hope that you, with me, will continue to celebrate our progress and accomplishments even as we safeguard our freedoms.”