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KSU calls professor's comments 'reprehensible'

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Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 17:14:53-05

Kent State University released a statement characterizing professor Julio Pino's comments as "reprehensible and counter to our core values of civil discourse and respect."

Pino is under investigation by the FBI, the organization confirmed Tuesday. No further details have been released by officials, but KentWired.com reported he has been under investigation for a year and a half for alleged ties to ISIS.

Pino's wife answered the door at the family's Kent home Wednesday morning and said Pino would not be making any comments. She also asked for privacy.

However, Pino did speak to Emily Mills, a student reporter at Kent State.

He told Mills he does not support the Islamic State and did not violate any US laws.

"I'm not under any criminal investigation. I'm not in any kind of suspicion. I have not been served any papers," he said.

Read the full statement from Kent State University President Beverly Warren below:

Dear Members of the Kent State Community,

Many of you have heard unsettling news overnight that the FBI has been on our Kent Campus investigating a serious matter. We are cooperating with the FBI, and we have been assured that there is no indication of a threat to campus. As this is an ongoing investigation, it is not prudent to speak further about the case.

We continue to find Julio Pino’s comments reprehensible and counter to our core values of civil discourse and respect. As a university, we do not defend his views, and he does not speak on behalf of Kent State or members of our community.

Campus safety continues to be our top priority at Kent State, and we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment for our community.

Sincerely,
Beverly Warren
President
Kent State University

On campus, many students were following the story and admitted the situation made them feel a bit uneasy.

"If he has been investigated for a year and a half, I don't know see why he's still working here," said Stephen Cox, a KSU student.

The university said Pino is a tenured professor and there has not been any change in his job status since no charges have been filed.

Mitchell Felan, who produces and reports for the campus TV station, said he doesn't believe there has been a rush to judgment.

"The FBI said they've been looking into the case for about a year and a half so to their credit, they haven't been aggressive with the situation. They've just been taking necessary precautions, " Felan said.

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