The Catholic University of America: Adjunct Professor Suspended Over Tweets About Obama, Sen. Kamala Harris

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: The Catholic University of America

In May 2020, FIRE wrote to The Catholic University of America after John Tieso, an instructor and adjunct assistant professor of business management, was investigated and suspended after tweets from his personal Twitter account that were critical of former President Barack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris garnered attention from a local media outlet. CUA told Tieso to delete his Twitter account after a student complained about a 2018 Tieso tweet that called Obama “incredibly impotent and vain” and suggested “perhaps he might consider staying in Africa and giving all his money to his people.” The tweet about Harris, from May of 2020, referred to her as a “former escort.” Tieso was suspended after the news outlet — which noted that students said Tieso was “respectful” of students of color — reported the story.