James Tracy Boston bombing blog controversy: FAU president says professor is under investigation

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders is from Boston.

She didn't like what professor James Tracy wrote on his blog " Memory Hole" where he questioned many aspects of what happened the day of the bombings in Boston.
 
"It was just extremely painful for me as an individual to have anybody question the authenticity of the pain and suffering," said Saunders.
 
On a much different level, she's admits, the latest Tracy dustup is another public relations headache.
 
In just the last two weeks, she's had contentious meetings with faculty and seen a former congressman use what some call threatening language towards students over his wife who is a trustee.
 
Then there's last month's flap over the football stadium.
 
So is the school considering hiring a private PR firm?
 
"Yes, we're looking at that," said Saunders. "But I don't want people to think that what we're trying to do is spin a message. We talk about PR, how important that is, to get your message out. But it's not that we don't want to be authentic and honest."
 
The Tracy fire isn't out yet.
 
She says that lawyers and other academics are going over his employment contract, exactly what he said, and whether his blog violates previous orders he's received to disassociate his personal writing from FAU.
 
She didn't say whether the fact that he did a television interview with WPTV on campus last night violated those orders.
 
As for his future: "No one has reached any conclusion. We are working very hard on this, we are getting a lot of advice on this," Saunders said.
 
Saunders didn't say what the possible conclusions are.
 
But she did acknowledge that professors who have recently argued in favor of academic freedom concerning the dustup over a professor who had students step on paper with the name Jesus, could make noise over this too.
 
"We will tell people what our decisions are," said Saunders. "At that point, you deal with the repercussions of any decision."
 
Saunders says the only thing she knows about whether Tracy taught his Boston theory in class is that he said he hadn't during an interview broadcast on WPTV Tuesday night.

 


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