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After initially appearing to defend the free speech of Randa Jarrar, an associate professor of English who tweeted that the late former first lady Barbara Bush was “an amazing racist” who raised a “war criminal,” Fresno State University said Wednesday that it would investigate her. “A professor with tenure does not have blanket protection to say and do what they wish," Fresno State president Joseph Castro said during a news conference. “We are all held accountable for our actions.” In an earlier statement shared online by Fresno State, Castro said that Jarrar’s views were “obviously contrary to the core values of our university,” but that she’d been speaking as a private citizen.

Jarrar posted her comments online within hours of Bush’s death Tuesday, also saying she was "happy the witch is dead" and that she couldn't wait for the rest of her family to "fall to their demise the way 1.5 million Iraqis have." In response to near-immediate criticism, she tweeted that she was a tenured professor earning $100,000 per year who “will never be fired.” She also tweeted what she said was her contact information but was really the phone number for a crisis hotline at another university. Jarrar soon made her social media accounts private. She is on an unrelated leave of absence this semester, according to The Fresno Bee. Last year, Fresno State assigned Lars Maischak, an adjunct instructor of history, to nonteaching duties for the duration of his contract after it was revealed that he’d tweeted, “To save American democracy, Trump must hang.” He later apologized and said he was not calling for actual violence.