Anti-GOP Professor Who Called Republicans 'Old, Cheap and Racist' in Michigan State Classroom Reinstated for Spring Semester


Michigan State University's (MSU) suspended professor of creative writing William Penn in early Sept. for a classroom rant against the GOP, but it has been confirmed the teacher will be reinstated next semester.

The 64-year-old professor will teach two classes next in the Spring 2014 semester, reported, which will begin Jan. 6. A teacher for 26 years, Penn was caught on camera calling Republicans "racists" who "raped the country" by a student in his class discretely filming.

The video was provided to college news website Campus Reform and the clip made its way to the national spotlight, appearing on Fox News' show "the O'Reilly Factor."

Campus Reform's truncated version of the video, with captions:

MSU spokesman Kent Cassella confirmed Penn would return at the beginning of next semester. The school quickly suspended Penn once they verified it was Penn giving the anti-GOP speech in the video. Penn may not have been teaching this semester, but his leave was not without pay, as he was allowed to continue earning his $146,510 annual salary.

"Professor William Penn will be assigned to teach two small courses next semester in creative writing," Cassella said in a statement. "In the meantime, as part of MSU's commitment to create a learning environment characterized by mutual respect and civility, a faculty committee created by Academic Governance continues to review the responsibilities of faculty members and the impact of social media on teaching and learning."

The nine-minute clip obtained by Campus Reform did not start with the beginning of class, so it is unclear why he started speaking on the subject. The class was the first of the semester for his literature, cultures and identities course.

In the video he accused former U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney of hiding funds offshore, called Republicans "dead" or "dying white people" and also apparently called out a student for frowning at what he had to say. He also accused the GOP of voter suppression in North and South Carolina, saying they wanted to keep black people from voting because they tend to vote Democrat.

Penn did not return MLive's request for comment, nor did Cassella for Campus Reform's.

The full raw footage without captions:

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