Brigham Young University and Steven Jones announced Friday that he would be retiring from his job as a physics instructor -- a month after the university stripped Jones of teaching duties amid controversy over his views on the events of September 11.
Jones is one of the leaders of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a group of academics and others who believe that the United States orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. Several faculty members who hold such views have come under fire in recent months -- most notably at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of New Hampshire. Although Jones did not discuss his views on 9/11 in classes unless asked to do so by students, he is the first such professor to lose teaching responsibilities, and now his job, because of a controversy over 9/11.
Last month, after Utah news media outlets covered Jones's views on 9/11, the university placed him on paid leave and assigned his courses -- which he had just started for the semester -- to other instructors. The university announced that it would review Jones and his statements and performance. Nearly 3,000 people have signed an online petition urging Brigham Young to let Jones continue his work.
Jones and Brigham Young did not provide details on the agreement under which he will leave the university. But in a statement posted on the Web site of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Jones said he was pleased with the resolution. He said that he was "not angry" with the university.
"I feel that this is a good move for me. I have been contacted by another school about joining their faculty, and may do so -- but no decision on that yet," he write. "I think it will work out for the best. I assure you all that I will continue in my research on 9/11 issues, and speaking out -- should have more time for these activities in fact."
Along those lines, he also released a new statement with his views on 9/11, reviewing his reasons for doubting the official conclusions about what took place that day, and also expressing opposition to the war in Iraq.
As part of the agreement with Jones, Brigham Young has called off the review of his record.