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Mirecki Resigns

John on December 8, 2005 at 12:10 am

[Welcome Michelle Malkin and Telic Thoughts readers.]

This story just doesn’t stop. Last week Mirecki cancels the class. This Monday morning he’s beaten up. Wednesday he resigns as head of the department. Notice that while this wasn’t formal until Wednesday, his friend in the student atheist club knew about it on Tuesday:

Andrew Stangl, president of the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics, the 121-person student group for which Mirecki serves as faculty adviser, said Mirecki told him on Tuesday that he would step down as department chairman.

“It’s just another symptom of what’s been going on the last couple of weeks,” said Stangl, Wichita junior. “As a result of Dr. Mirecki sharing private opinions of his, he became public enemy number-one in the eyes of the Legislature.”

In other words, the resignation was the result of political pressure stemming from his obnoxious e-mails and not some kind of emotional fallout from the Monday morning incident. At this point, my suspicions about Mirecki’s truthfulness have just become doubts. The article also notes that he attended a “monthly faculty meeting” on Monday. Though it’s not absolutely clear what was discussed, the article does mention that, “colleagues in the department recommended that he step down.”

Here’s what I’m seeing between the lines. Mirecki is tenured but knew since last week that resignation of the department head position was on the table and that he might even face pressure to resign his job. He also knew there was a regular monthly faculty meeting on Monday afternoon where his fate would be the main issue. He’s obviously thinking about this all weekend. Then — lo and behold — Monday morning he gets “the hell beaten out of him” and suddenly he’s a victim and an atheist folk hero. Yet he still manages to make his staff meeting and his 12:30 class, where:

Jesse Plous, New York senior, and Tiffany Jeffers, Shawnee senior, are enrolled in Mirecki’s Dead Sea Scrolls class. They said they didn’t notice bruises or scratches when they met for class at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

All of this plus the fact that Mirecki refuses to respond to press, that he couldn’t remember the street he was driving on when the event occurred, that he didn’t wait for police at the scene but did wait 20 minutes to call them using his cell phone…something is rotten in Denmark. Let’s hope the police settle the matter soon, but I have a feeling they won’t ever find the roving gang of ID thugs.

Update: Michelle Malkin has an excellent post on all of this including some additional tidbits based on her own calls to the Kansas police.

Update 2: It appears Prof. Mirecki isn’t the only person stepping down. Those that have followed the story from the beginning recall that after the course title became controversial, but before the offensive e-mails were revealed, KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger came to Mirecki’s defense. He wrote a letter stating that the use of the word “mythology” was scholarly and not intended to be offensive. Well today at 2:30 Kansas time Shulenburger is having an online discussion about this:

Shulenburger has announced he will vacate the post in June and return to teaching.

It’s possible this move had been planned for some time, but it’s also possible this is a protest resignation or simply another head rolling for making a mockery of the department in the last two weeks. Hopefully someone will ask him about this at 2:30.

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