University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Mike Adams, 55, was found dead inside his home on Thursday – a week before he was set to take early retirement
A North Carolina professor has been found dead just a week before he was set to take early retirement following an online petition to have him fired for his controversial social media comments.
Deputies discovered the body of University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Mike Adams, 55, while performing a wellness check at his home at around 2pm Thursday.
Police are conducting an investigation and did not release additional details about the circumstances of Adams’ death.
Adams had a history of making misogynistic and racist comments on social media, and his death comes less than a month after the university announced he would retire.
The tenured criminology professor – who recently reached a $504,702 settlement with UNCW for lost salary and lost retirement benefits – once referred to transgender people as ‘mentally ill’ and mocked students who accused him of harassing them as ‘weak pansies’.
Back in May, Adams sparked outrage among students and faculty again after he penned several more inflammatory tweets.
On May 28, Adams wrote: ‘Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.’
The following day he penned a tweet in which he compared North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions to living ‘in a slave state’.
In that same tweet, he referred to the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, as ‘Massa’, which means ‘Master’. ‘
Massa’ was used in literature and representations of black people during the slave era as the way they referred to their owners.
UNCW denounced his comments as ‘vile’ and ‘inexcusable’ less than a week later.
Police cars are seen outside Adams’ Wilmington home on Thursday. Deputies are conducting an investigation, but did not release additional details about the circumstances of the professor’s death
Medics are seen wheeling a gurney into Adams’ home on Thursday after deputies discovered his dead body
Adams had tried to defend his post to WECT, saying the analogy he used was to do with the Gov Cooper’s oppression during the shutdown, not race.
However, the tweets prompted two online Change.org petitions to have him fired from his job. Combined they received more than 88,000 signatures.
The university subsequently released a statement on June 1, which read: ‘We are listening to the outrage being expressed regarding the vile and inexcusable comments made by a UNCW faculty member.
‘However, we are not just listening; we can confirm we are very carefully and assertively reviewing our options in terms of how to proceed. We are not able to comment further at this time, as this is a personnel matter’.
Later, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, Adams posted a statement on the university’s website saying that Adams would retire on August 1.
Professor Adams is seen speaking at a Conservative Political Action Conference several years ago
PROFESSOR ADAMS’ MOST CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS
‘The only thing more disgusting than a jihadist Muslim is a pro-choice Muslim’ (April 2015)
‘Transsexuals in the military. Now we know what Obama meant when he promised to radically transform America’ (July 2016)
‘A nation that allows the mentally ill to serve in combat is not far from extinction’ (July 2016)
‘I wonder whether LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Thespian. So much drama, so few letters in the alphabet’ (September 2016)
‘We could have had a woman president. Unfortunately, radical feminism aborted 28million “potential” candidates’ (November 2016)
‘Presently a woman can get her baby cut out of the womb in North Carolina. But she cannot go to a salon to get her hair cut’ (April 2019)
‘I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. ‘Massa Cooper, let my people go!’ (May 2019)
Back in 2016, Adams was the target of another Change.org petition after he suggested a Muslim student was a terrorist and that gay marriage was bad as rape.
That petition, which garnered 5,600 comments, claimed Adams had a history of ‘spewing misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, racist rhetoric’.
The petition said: ‘Adams has disrespected the university’s promise to provide a safe environment for all individual student[s], and instead has mocked and ridiculed not only individuals, but entire groups. These actions are not acceptable, and no university should make a student feel unsafe.’
In September 2016, Adams wrote an article condemning student Nada Merghani – a self-described ‘queer Muslim social justice warrior’ – for her Facebook post about an upcoming Trump rally.
She wrote: ‘Expect to see me at the Trump rally… y’all are not prepared for what I’m about to do. All I can say is pray I make it out of this alive.’
Responding to that, the university professor said: ‘That sounds like a suicide mission for those who have never met Merghani.’
He added: ‘In my view, she simply lacks the intellectual coherence to form any sort of rational plan – including, but not limited to, killing a presidential candidate.
‘She comes across sort of like Squeaky Fromme minus the handgun and resolve.’
Two online Change.org petitions to get Adams fired from his job garnered more than 88,000 signatures collectively
Merghani told the Daily Beast she felt personally threatened and unsafe on campus after that attack.
She said Adams ‘suggested I was a terrorist without a hint of truth or any regard for my personal safety.’
She then left the university.
In 2016, Professor Adams also wrote on social media how ‘students who make false claims of harassment to silence others should also be deported’.
He also claimed the argument ‘”you’re racist” usually means “I have no argument”‘.
In a separate post following the election result, he said: ‘We could have had a woman president. Unfortunately, radical feminism aborted 28million “potential” candidates.’
And in an attack on the LGBT community, he wrote in a piece for the Daily Wire: ‘I wonder whether LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Thespian. So much drama, so few letters in the alphabet.’
At the time the university supported him and claimed there was ‘no evidence of unlawful discrimination’ from Adams to Merghani.
Adams had successfully sued the university for religious and speech-based discrimination when he was not promoted to full professor in 2006.
Adams, a tenured sociology and criminology professor, was the author of books entitled: ‘Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus’; Letters to a Young Progressive: How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand; and ‘A ‘Queer Muslim’ Jihad’.
The Office of University Relations on behalf of the Division of Academic Affairs at UNCW released a statement Thursday night.
‘It is with sadness that we share the news that the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation involving Dr. Mike Adams, professor of criminology. Please keep his friends and loved ones in your thoughts.
‘Students may call the University Counseling Center (910.962.3746) for grief support; faculty and staff can seek support through the Employee Assistance Program.’
Adams (right) tweeted about the executive order limiting social gatherings signed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper (pictured left on July 14) during the coronavirus pandemic