University Press

University cuts ties with controversial professor James Tracy

Tenured professor to appeal firing, which starts on Jan. 8

James Tracy claimed that FAU fired him because of controversial conspiracy theories he shared on his blog. Photo by Michelle Friswell

James Tracy claimed that FAU fired him because of controversial conspiracy theories he shared on his blog. Photo by Michelle Friswell

James Tracy claimed that FAU fired him because of controversial conspiracy theories he shared on his blog. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Ryan Lynch, Multimedia Editor

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After a 10 day period in which he could appeal his pending termination, Florida Atlantic fired communication professor James Tracy on Monday.

The university informed Tracy that it was taking steps to relieve him of his duties on Dec. 16.

A conspiracy theorist, Tracy recently re-entered the national spotlight after a public dispute with parents Veronique and Lenny Pozner, whose son Noah died in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. The Pozners’ ire came when Tracy asked them for paperwork to verify that their son had in fact existed.

Tracy previously claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre and other American mass shootings were staged by the United States government. He did so through his personal blog, Memory Hole, and was reprimanded by the school for not establishing that his views did necessarily reflect those of the university.

According to the letter given to Tracy, his reason for termination was not on the basis of the claims, but for failure to submit a “Report of Outside Employment or Professional Activity Form,” that was required by the faculty collective bargaining agreement.

Tracy, a tenured professor who has worked at the university since 2002, will appeal his firing. According to a media spokesperson, alternate professors will be assigned to teach the three classes Tracy was scheduled for this spring. The termination will be effective Jan. 8.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. Check back at for updates.

Ryan Lynch is the  Multimedia editor of the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter.

About the Writer
Ryan Lynch, Business Manager
Ryan is a senior multimedia journalism major who’s minoring in business law and psychology. He was once a two-time editor in chief for the paper, but that’s ancient history now. When he’s not reading books or dropping f-bombs, he’s probably can be found playing hockey or binge-watching movies overnight.

26 Responses to “University cuts ties with controversial professor James Tracy”

  1. Scott on January 6th, 2016 2:22 pm

    Just out of curiosity…isn’t the fact that the school knows it’s his PERSONAL blog imply that the blog has nothing to do with the school? I mean, I bet schools have professors all over with personal blogs that have biased/controversial stuff on them. If they wanna fire him over the book, just outright say that.

    Plus, this is right on his site (snapshot from May 2015)

    I fail to see where he went wrong here.

  2. Biko S. on January 7th, 2016 4:52 pm

    You realize the disclaimer you link to was added YEARS later, right?

  3. Greg Scott on January 6th, 2016 4:59 pm

    I wonder what sorts of classes he’d teach?

  4. Wade D Enyart on January 7th, 2016 4:09 pm

    He teaches communication and in particular conspiracy theory (like an examination of the phenomenon)

  5. Ian McDermott on January 6th, 2016 8:29 pm

    Another American “Professor”…

  6. SisterChromatid on January 6th, 2016 8:43 pm

    What do you do when a tenured professor becomes mentally ill? Delusional people never know they are delusional.

  7. Mike on January 7th, 2016 11:32 am

    Sister, You may need to sit down and do your physical truth homework before speaking. Many of the people involved who spoke to the media at Sandy Hook were positively identified to be employed with the Actors Guild. Some for many years as they were identified at other previous events. Many of those were temporarily living there locally, some for more than two years. Almost all of their home mortgages were paid off a few months after this event. Later, most of these identified subjects sold their properties and moved away. It is assumed to the next public event.

    The implied shooter at this event was placed in the building. The two real shooters were caught by local police and released by the late arriving force that took over the scene. There are so many holes in this story anyone has to be blind not to be concerned! For such a preposterous story, you have to understand, any disagreeing public servant will be removed by the government media status quo!

    Please pray about this and find out for yourself what really happened? Delusional is also self implied denial with unquestioned facts! I’m sorry, but Mr. Tracy may have been right, you just will never know unless you find out for yourself!

    And … if you find he may be right … what will you do?

  8. JoelWhy on January 8th, 2016 6:33 am

    Ahhh, conspiracy nuts. You guys are always good for a laugh 🙂

  9. Mike is a moron on January 8th, 2016 12:00 pm

    No citations, no credible sources, all just more tinfoil hat hysteria. Please shut up, Mike. Your thoughts do nothing but dumb things down for the rest of us.

  10. Schoob on January 8th, 2016 12:13 pm
  11. James blum on January 9th, 2016 9:46 am

    Please provide their names.

  12. Ken McMurtrie on January 7th, 2016 12:44 am

    Not the first time someone is fired for telling the truth!

  13. Keoki on January 7th, 2016 12:41 pm

    Problem is that he is outright lying. there is no truth in what he states.

  14. Schoob on January 8th, 2016 12:13 pm

    *sad trombone sound* for Ken.

  15. Smart conspiracy theorist on January 7th, 2016 8:22 am

    There is indeed a conspiracy, but it is not what it seems. It is Professor Tracy who does not exist. He was invented by the devilishly cunning Obama administration in order to sway public opinion against the gun lobby. Of course no sane person would hold his crazy theories. Only a fictitious person could do that. So no need to give a job back to someone who never had one in the first place.

  16. Mike on January 7th, 2016 11:34 am

    Cut off before I could finish!

  17. Schoob on January 8th, 2016 12:12 pm

    Yes, Mike. Three incoherent paragraphs aren’t enough. Please continue.

  18. Vince Watkins on January 7th, 2016 11:59 am

    What a communications professor chooses to communicate is important. Having sane and authoritative professors is integral to a university’s status.

    No parent wants their kid thrown under the crazytown bus this guy is driving.

  19. Steve Immel on January 7th, 2016 4:36 pm

    The man is harassing the couple who had the child who died. That’s their main beef.

  20. Shanna Jones on January 7th, 2016 5:16 pm

    Here comes the next college shootup…

  21. Jim on January 7th, 2016 6:02 pm


  22. James Marchment on January 7th, 2016 6:06 pm

    NRA must love (pay?) This fellow. One Persona mannered actor Heston told us we’d have to tear HIS guns “from my cold, dead hands!” Not very cold down there, is it, Heston. The pistol packing Prof will join you.

  23. John on January 7th, 2016 6:58 pm

    I wonder if we are not all looking at this the wrong way. Maybe there IS a conspiracy, only it’s not the one Prof. Tracy has been alerting us to. Of course the child victims of that shooting existed. But what makes us so sure that Prof. Tracy exists? Maybe he himself is a figment, a fiction concocted by the devilishly cunning Obama administration in an attempt to discredit the gun lobby by inventing a lunatic who could not possibly exist. And if he doesn’t exist (how could any real person hold such idiotic views?) there is no one to be reinstated in a job that that nobody never really had anyway. Case solved.

  24. Eric on January 7th, 2016 7:27 pm

    Speaking as a higher education executive, every college and university has a social media policy. In a nutshell, this policy states that nothing any employee posts online can have anything to do with the institution, nor can they claim to speak for the institution or even infer that the represent the institution, without explicit permission from the institution. If an employee posts anything online referring to the institution, even something as innocuous as “Written by Joe Blow, Professor of (Subject), John Q. Public University,” they must also have a statement making it clear that the opinions contained in said post/blog are those of the author only and in no way reflect those of the institution. Violation of said policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. This is a standard policy contained in every university employee handbook and is signed and accepted by every employee, be they faculty or staff, during the hiring process.

    In short, if he had the university’s name anywhere on his blog at all and did not also have a statement making it clear that his views were not those of the university, then he was in clear violation of the university’s social media policy – a policy which he himself had to have accepted or he wouldn’t have been hired – and is subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

  25. historian on January 8th, 2016 12:56 am

    just watched a youtube video of Robbie Parker, whose daughter supposedly was killed the day before, laughing and smiling when the thought the cameras weren’t rolling. Then when he was told he was ‘on air’, he went into a hyperventilating mode, and tried to look grieved at his loss.

    It was very strange and looked like he was acting. I still don’t know why not one of the families sued anybody for years until it became an issue. I still don’t know why none of the EMT’s who arrived were allowed into the school or why the kids would be left there to rot for hours. It doesn’t make sense. And the school looks dilapidated, with a broken roof and mold growing every where on the doors…etc. Or why 20 of the families involved had their mortgage paid off on Dec 24, 2009 suddenly, a day when the Newton county assessor’s office is closed. Or why there are only 2 photos of the same 8 kids being evacuated; all the dash cam videos taken by the police that day show no kids being evacuated at all when there were supposed to be over 600.

    Very strange.

  26. PJ on January 12th, 2016 8:25 am


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