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.

Home » News » New Mexico News » NMSU professor barred from classroom in policy row


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

taboola desktop

1
APS to tap community on parents rights policy
ABQnews Seeker
School board lays out timeline for ... School board lays out timeline for for final vote in November
2
Teachers and parents feel inflationary 'pinch'
ABQnews Seeker
Tax-free weekend offers notable relief for ... Tax-free weekend offers notable relief for back-to-school buyers
3
City of Albuquerque event aims to prepare students for ...
ABQnews Seeker
Backpacks, supplies and haircuts are all ... Backpacks, supplies and haircuts are all free in Civic Plaza on Sunday
4
‘It’s going to be a good year’
ABQnews Seeker
Nearly 30 APS schools kick off ... Nearly 30 APS schools kick off school year early, with minimal grumbling
5
No masks required to start APS school year
ABQnews Seeker
District still has protocols at the ... District still has protocols at the ready for possible COVID outbreaks
6
APS makes gains in right-sizing
ABQnews Seeker
'We're looking pretty good, I'm excited,' ... 'We're looking pretty good, I'm excited,' Human Resources Chief says
7
Virgin Galactic announces 'astronaut campus' in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Facility will host paying customers ahead ... Facility will host paying customers ahead of spaceflights
8
ABQ BioPark Zoo program offers training, opportunities
ABQnews Seeker
‘Zoo school’ also helps to retain ... ‘Zoo school’ also helps to retain staff and makes them feel ‘more appreciated’
9
'Sense of self': Students learn leadership, friendship at camp
ABQnews Seeker
Roots Summer Leadership Academy reaches those ... Roots Summer Leadership Academy reaches those in need