‘I just did not do that:’ ECU professor resigns after controversial Facebook post about Juneteenth

State News

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — An associate professor from East Carolina University said he has resigned after a controversial Facebook post regarding Juneteenth.

Last week, a post that said “Hey there. How about **** Juneteenth!!!” circulated on Facebook and social media. The post was on Monte Miller’s Facebook page on June 25.

On Thursday, he resigned his position as an associate professor at the ECU School of Social Work. He had been with the university since 2005.

Miller also told 9OYS he never made the post and believed in light of what had happened concerning the social media outrage over it that he should retire.

“This whole thing has just been a personal assault,” Miller said in a phone interview Friday. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I have worked with minorities from Penobscot Indians in Maine to (The Church of Jesus Christ of) Latter-day Saints in Wyoming to groups of Black people here that have been discriminated against.

“It’s really hard for me to be pictured as someone who is discriminatory I just do not do that.”

Miller told 9OYS he was already going through phased retirement through the university and was already two-thirds of the way through it.

“I gave it my all. I tried to come back from it,” Miller said. “The more I saw what was happening to my comments and the School of Social Work, I needed to take a knee and just accept that basically my career was over, and I’m just trying to move on right now.”

Friday evening, ECU Chief Communications Officer and Director of University Communications Jeanne Manning Hutson issued a statement from the university.

“ECU does not endorse or support viewpoints that dismiss, marginalize or disrespect anyone based on race, gender or ethnicity. We also stand on the principle of free speech.

“As a public university, we are committed to upholding First Amendment rights. As a constituent institution of the UNC System, ECU’s policies are aligned with the UNC System Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression within the University of North Carolina System (1300.8). 

“In addition to this alignment with the UNC System Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression, the University has a Freedom of Expression Regulation: https://www.ecu.edu/prr/07/30/06.”

Hutson also said in the release the university could not comment on an individual personnel issue beyond releasing the dates of employment and similar information.

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