Charleston Southern University defends Professor Paul Roof's firing

Published: Jun. 3, 2014 at 9:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:12 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Southern University issued a statement Tuesday afternoon about the controversial termination of one of its professors.

Dr. Paul Roof, who worked for CSU for the past six years, said University officials fired him Friday, over reaction from his students after his likeness appeared on a beer can. Roof has maintained that he has not been compensated for the image, he does not own it and its use was a surprise to him.

CSU's statement reads:

"University policy prohibits the public discussion of personnel matters. However, in relation to the matter involving Dr. Paul Roof, the University is compelled to provide a response, albeit limited by the aforementioned University policy.

is unfortunate that recent reports have distorted events and University policy. However, it should be clear that the University takes seriously its mission and principles, which are published to all interested individuals, including faculty and staff. While difficult decisions must sometimes be made, there should be no misunderstanding that fidelity to the University’s values are always paramount.

First, it should be clear that the matter involving Dr. Roof is, in no way, premised upon the actual consumption of alcohol. Second, the matter has nothing to do with the presence of facial hair. Thirdly, charitable activities among faculty and staff are encouraged by the University.

While some comments in traditional and social media have included unflattering characterizations of the University -- the reality is quite different. The University is committed to promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment. To achieve this aim, the University reaches out to the entire community, in all of its diversity.

The University acknowledges and appreciates your concern and prayers about this matter. Fall enrollment projections indicate CSU will experience the largest enrollment in university's history. Fundraising results for this fiscal year exceeded goals. May God continue to bless Charleston Southern University as it fulfills its mission."

Roof's supporters began donating to a charity with which he has close ties. On Monday, Roof presented a check for $7,000 to the Center for Women and their Lowcountry Women With Wings program.

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