EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mississippi state auditor calls on Ole Miss to withhold pay from prof who participated in 'Scholar Strike'

  • Mississippi's state auditor is investigating a professor at the University of Mississippi after his participation in the "scholar strike."
  • The state auditor is asking the University of Mississippi to withhold two days of his pay because of his participation in the strike.
  • Campus Reform interviewed Mississippi State Auditor Shad White.

The state auditor of Mississippi is asking the University of Mississippi to withhold two days of pay for a professor who participated in the "Scholar Strike" on September 8 and 9.

According to an article published by the Clarion-Ledger, University of Mississippi sociology professor James Thomas participated in the scholar strike, which has been described as a halt in classes initiated by professors and others who work at colleges and universities across the country to protest for "racial justice for BIPOC in all areas of society," according to the strike's website.

However, the state auditor of Mississippi, Shad White, has contacted the university expressing his concerns over what has been called a “work stoppage” when referring to the scholar strike. In a letter to UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce, White outlines his disapproval of Thomas engaging in the scholar strike.

[RELATED: Profs across America use class time to #ScholarStrike for racial justice]

Specifically, White highlights that, according to Mississippi law, strikes are illegal.

“A University of Mississippi employee, Professor James Thomas, engaged in a ‘#ScholarStrike’ on Tuesday, September 8th, and Wednesday, September 9th, 2020. Prof. Thomas acknowledged this in an email to students and in multiple social media posts. His email to students outlined his ‘work stoppage’ and the work-related tasks he would not be performing,” White said.

“Strikes are illegal in Mississippi. Mississippi Code 37-9-75 states that Prof. Thomas ‘shall’ not ‘promote, encourage or participate in any strikes,'" the letter states.

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