NMSU professor barred from classroom in policy row – Albuquerque Journal

NMSU professor barred from classroom in policy row

LAS CRUCES – Days after receiving an award for teaching excellence, a business professor at New Mexico State University has been removed from his classroom at the start of the fall semester.

David Clements, an assistant professor of finance at NMSU’s College of Business, posted video of an introductory lecture in which he announced that he would not be enforcing or following the university’s COVID-19 policies on mask use or vaccines.

Clements posted the video to Rumble, a social media platform with a strong following among conservatives and libertarians as a rival to YouTube. His channel purportedly has 26,000 online followers.

“As you can see, I am not wearing a mask,” he tells students in the video. “Why is that? Because I haven’t lost my mind, that’s why. I will not wear a mask.”

He also said he would refuse the required COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing for the disease.

“Whether you want to wear a mask in my class is between you and God,” he tells the class, promising the course will be available online as an alternative. “You signed up for a face-to-face class and I’m going to teach a face-to-face class.”

On Monday, Clements posted on Telegram, a messaging app and social media platform, claiming his resistance to the policies led to him being relieved of his teaching responsibilities for “gross misconduct,” and the removal of professor James Hoffman as dean of the business college.

The university announced Monday that Hoffman would return to teaching full-time and named professor Mary Jo Billiot as acting dean. Billiot is a professor of accounting, and an interim associate dean for finance and research at the business college.

Citing confidential personnel matters, NMSU spokesman Justin Bannister did not reveal any reason for the switch and would not comment on Clements’ status, except to confirm that he remains an employee of the university.

Clements did not respond to queries sent via his personal website.

On Telegram, Clements stated that Hoffman “was ordered by the university to come to my morning class and see if I was complying with the mask mandate. … He asserted his strong belief in the exercise of free speech. He then left me to teach my class.”

While the university states that Clements remains an employee, an online fundraiser on Clements’ behalf claims he was “fired for standing up.”

The fundraiser was initiated by Joe Oltmann, founder of the conservative political group FEC United and a promoter of conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $200,000 in donations.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango


taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Community rallies behind Washington MS after fatal shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Work on a tree sanctuary at ... Work on a tree sanctuary at the school aims to help kids express themselves and heal
2
Three vie for District 7 seat on APS board
ABQnews Seeker
Attorney, activist, policy analyst seek election ... Attorney, activist, policy analyst seek election to Board of Education
3
Ex-UNM president, 92, led school into new era
ABQnews Seeker
Davis was leader during Lobogate scandal Davis was leader during Lobogate scandal
4
APS District 6 hopefuls split on pandemic, other issues
ABQnews Seeker
Business owner, artist, former teacher running ... Business owner, artist, former teacher running for seat
5
Professor who bucked virus rules is fired
Education
NMSU educator opposed vaccine, mask mandates, ... NMSU educator opposed vaccine, mask mandates, posted video of hearing
6
92 NM National Merit Scholarship semifinalists announced
ABQnews Seeker
The National Merit Scholarship Program recently ... The National Merit Scholarship Program recently released its 2022 list of 16,000 semifinalists that ...
7
3 run for West Side APS seat
ABQnews Seeker
            ...             With current District 5 member Candelaria Patterson declining to seek reelection to the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of ...
8
Let off steam while letting STEAM in
Business
Kids get hands-on learning and field ... Kids get hands-on learning and field practice in a fun and educational way
9
NM to try SAT again after virus halts mandate
ABQnews Seeker
Participation varies by race, ethnicity Participation varies by race, ethnicity