North Carolina State University's dean for academic and student affairs resigned his post last week after getting called out for a tweet characterizing the Republican Party as the party of "neo-Nazis" and 'the KKK," the News & Observer reported.
Mike Mullen — who's been in the position since 2012 — resigned Thursday but will stay on as a professor, the paper said.
While the resignation announcement didn't include a reason, the paper said it came hours after N.C. State senior Luke Stancil wrote about that tweet — and others — in a story for The College Fix.
A tweet from April 15, 2018 — according to screenshots critics shared, the News & Observer said — replied to conservative activist Charlie Kirk saying "now the GOP is the party of the NRA, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and all manner of alt-right crazies. You have betrayed your history."
.@NCState’s very own Vice Chancellor Mike Mullen (@NCSU_MikeMullen) has been calling Trump supporters and the GOP a… https://t.co/c5aoOa3SMs— Students For Trump (@Students For Trump)1565888823.0
"It's hypocritical for him to preach for an inclusive environment and also to effectively call students who are Republicans neo-Nazis and members of the Klan," Stancil wrote. "His intention may not have been to alienate conservative students, but it is the result of his actions. I certainly feel this way."
Mullen — who earns an annual salary of $283,206 — is a professor in the university's crop sciences department and didn't respond to requests for comment Thursday, the paper said.
#ICYMI: My live report from NC State on the sudden resignation of vice-chancellor Mike Mullen. #wral VIDEO HERE: https://t.co/dc8eUbELN6— Aaron Thomas (@Aaron Thomas)1565968180.0
But Stancil did comment, telling the News & Observer he believes Mullen should be completely gone from N.C. State.
'He deserves to be fired for his actions'
"He deserves to be fired for his actions," Stancil added to the paper Thursday before wondering if students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats in his class could believe he'd "grade them fairly" after this episode.
More from from the News & Observer:
In a Nov. 10, 2018, opinion piece for the student newspaper, The Technician, one student wrote that Mullen had recently tweeted: "Sitting in the Renaissance lounge, working, listening to three redneck businessmen discussing democratic mobs and violence. Lots of coded language. #bloodboiling."
That student, Jacob Trubey, wrote that many N.C. State students come from rural areas and may take the dismissal of rednecks as a personal affront — especially given the school's focus on farming and other agricultural pursuits.
"When university administrators use terms such as 'redneck,' it undermines not only N.C. State's student population, but the very history of our institution," he wrote, according to the paper.
The day the Technician op-ed ran, Mullen tweeted: "Yesterday I tweeted a message that has, rightfully, resulted in many pushing back. I believe my track record on respect for others speaks for itself, but unfortunately, I did not live up to that record yesterday."
(H/T: The College Fix)