James Tracy: FAU opens investigation, leaving him unsure of job status

Professor James Tracy. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Professor James Tracy. Photo by Michelle Friswell

FAU professor James Tracy has been under fire recently — more than 800 news outlets have reported on him — after a series of posts on his blog in which he suggested the Newtown, Conn., massacre had many unanswered questions and may not have happened the way it was reported.

And now the tenured professor says the university has launched an investigation into his comments, asking to meet with him later this week.

Tracy believes FAU is feeling pressure from its donors, unsure about giving money to a university in the news for a conspiratorial professor.

“They’re getting people calling them saying that this person shouldn’t be teaching, he’s an awful person and what have you, so I think that they have to do something,” Tracy said. “I don’t know what there’s going to be. I don’t know if that would involve stripping me of my tenure and dismissing me, or what. That’s something that’s ultimately for them to decide.”

FAU has refused comment through Media Relations Director Lisa Metcalf, citing it as a “personnel matter.”

The university’s faculty union president, Chris Robé, did not return multiple calls.

The firestorm started when Tracy released his first post on Dec. 20 about Newtown, questioning the media narrative. “Behind the meticulously crafted façade a deep vagueness and sorrow remains that cannot be wholly explained away by the made-for-television storyline of an awkward and lagging young man who inexplicably murders his mother, destroys his computer hard drive, gains access to a supposedly high security facility and proficiently executes 26 individuals within minutes,” he wrote. “Yet only in an age of almost universal deceit is the public asked to accept such without further inquiry and comment.”

His blog posts weren’t picked up by the mainstream media until he wrote this on Dec. 24: “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”

Tracy was unsure of his future job status, but did make one thing clear.

“But, you know, if they intend to fire me, ultimately, how good of an institution is it? If they’re not going to stand up for free speech and ideas and things of the like, then I’m not too sure I want to be here, either.”

[Lulu Ramadan contributed to the reporting of this story.]

[Ed note: The previous headline in this story said FAU is investigating Tracy. These statements are according to Tracy since the university will not comment if there is an actual investigation pending.]

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