Fresno State says Barbara Bush-bashing professor can be fired despite tenure

Randa Jarrar Fresno 1

California State University’s Fresno campus is investigating after one of their English professors tweeted she was “happy” former first lady Barbara Bush was dead just an hour after her passing was announced.

The author and professor, Randa Jarrar, tweeted a slew of comments about Bush, calling her “a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.”

Bush, 92, died Tuesday night just days after her family announced her health was failing.

Amid the backlash to her tweets, Jarrar, who also said she “can’t wait for the rest of [the Bush] family to fall to their demise,” said that she couldn’t get fired from her job at Fresno State because of tenure.

“I work as a tenured professor. I make 100K a year doing that. I will never be fired. I will always have people wanting to hear what I have to say,” she wrote on Twitter.

The university’s provost, Lynnette Zelezny, referred to the professor’s comments as “disrepectful” during a news conference Wednesday, and said the school is taking the situation “very seriously.”

“We understand the concern from the community and we are taking this very seriously,” Zelezny said, according to The Fresno Bee. “To answer the technical question: Can she not be fired? The answer is no.”

Fresno State has reportedly not been in contact with Jarrar, who has been on a leave of absense during the spring semester.

Following Jarrar’s tweets Tuesday, the university’s president, Joseph Castro, also distanced the school from the professor’s controversial comments, saying they raise “deep concerns” and were made “as a private citizen.”

In a statement, Castro extended the school’s “deepest condolences to the Bush family on the loss of our former First Lady, Barbara Bush.”

 Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah

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