Mirecki resigns from KU department post

The embattled Kansas University religious studies professor who drew ire from Christian conservatives for his derisive remarks on an online discussion board has withdrawn from his post as chair of the department.

“Professor Mirecki said he thought it appropriate to step down and did so on the recommendation of his colleagues in the department and I have accepted his resignation,” said Barbara Romzek, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “This allows the department to focus on what’s most important – teaching, research and service – and to minimize the distractions of the last couple of weeks.”

Mirecki, a tenured professor who had planned to teach a course on intelligent design, came under fire recently when his remarks about the course and other statements made on the Internet became public.

Mirecki said the class would be a “slap” in the “big fat face” of religious fundamentalists. He later withdrew the course. And on Monday he reported to local authorities that he was beaten by two men who made reference to controversy.