Combined with the "Passion of the Musical" flap last year, Rawlins is leaving quite a legacy at WSU.
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University President Lane Rawlins tells KREM 2 news a professor who used a racially-vulgar term when arguing with a student over a political demonstration faces a reprimand, but will continue teaching.. But we are looking at reprimands, at whether this is a pattern of behavior."
Professor John Streamas argued with members of the College Repubicans on November 2nd, taking issue with a fence they put up on the busy Glenn Terrell mall in the middle of campus. The College Republicans said the 24-foot, chain-link fence was meant as a show of support the Bush administration's plan for a border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.
Professor Streamas said the fence was a racist symbol, and that many students on campus, especially minorities, saw it as threatening and insulting. As the argument escalated, Professor Streamas uttered the words "white s***bag" in front of one of the students. Speaking with KREM 2 News on Friday, Rawlins said, "his comments were totally inappropriate, and I think he knows that." But Rawlins said Streamas would not be terminated, "One utterance of a faculty member in the heat of discussion is not the kind of thing for which you terminate someone
Rawlins also said the fence presented problems, "We want to encourage the young people that if they're really interested in constructive dialogue, perhaps the best way to start it is not to do something quite as bold and offensive as just building a fence in the middle of the campus."
Video of the incident was featured on the video-posting website You Tube, and was the focus of a segment on the Fox News program "Hannity and Colmes". Streamas teaches in WSU's department of Comparative Ethnic StudiesThe video of the interview is here.