Yet another tenured professor terminated for thinking he could get away with anything. According to MySanAntonio.com. Ronald Ayers used USTA computers to access porn and then tried to foist it off as an attempt to protect young children from internet pornography. Ayers claimed that it was “research” for a blog series that would alert young people to the dangers of porn. A faculty tribunal wanted to keep Ayers on board citing that he had viewed sexually explicit material and NOT obscene pornography. The Board of Regents saw through this feeble verbal subterfuge and overruled the faculty tribunal. Some sympathy, for males past their prime watching provocatively clad 19 year old women in skin tight spandex volley ball shorts, is tolerable, but Ayers should have used the Google Chrome Browser which obliterates everything since the beginning of time in your web surfing history.
Tenure is in place to protect professors from administrators who feel like flexing their muscles. It is not unusual for a professor to be around long enough to have served under 5 or 6 Deans of Academics! However tenure should not induce a feeling of carte blanche behavior that produces actions like those committed by Ayers.
University of Texas regents on Thursday voted to uphold the firing of a tenured professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio for accessing pornography on his work computer, rejecting a faculty tribunal’s recommendation that UT spare the professor’s job.
UTSA officials fired 60-year-old economics professor Ronald Ayers in March 2007, but he appealed the decision to a five-member faculty tribunal. The tribunal found that Ayers had used poor judgment, but did not violate a university policy banning “obscene” materials.
The university instead accused Ayers of accessing “sexually explicit” material, which is not the same thing as “obscene,” the tribunal reasoned.
Regents disagreed, saying Ayers’ use of a UTSA computer to access sexually explicit Web sites was not related to his job and was more than incidental. Regents also faulted Ayers for offering “varying explanations over time” and deleting cached porn files.