Texas Tech Professor Jairo Funez-Flores has publicly posted antisemitic remarks. These actions do not correspond with the high standards of ethical conduct the university demands of its employees.

Funez-Flores is an assistant professor at Texas Tech’s College of Education. He specializes in decolonial studies, ethnography, and activist research. Texas Tech recognized him in the 2022-2023 academic year with the “Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching Award.” Their statement noted that they were “honoring a faculty member who has been at Texas Tech no more than four years and whose excellence in teaching has been attested by students, faculty and administrators.”

On February 11, 2024, he publicly cursed Israel, the United States, and the Super Bowl.

Days earlier, on January 30, 2024, he engaged in a profanity-laced tirade on the social media platform X against Israel and its supporters.

This followed a series of expressions Funez-Flores has made on the Israeli-Gaza war.

On October 7, 2023, the day of the terrorist attacks against Israel, he posted the following quote on X from Palestinian poet Darren Tatour: “Resist, my people, resist them. In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows and carried the soul in my palm for an Arab Palestine. I will not succumb to the ‘peaceful solution,’ never lower my flags until I evict them from my land.”

That same day, he also shared a post justifying the October 7 attacks as “self-determination,” “resisting dehumanization,” and “justice.”

Funez-Flores continued to show support for the events of October 7. He called for the destruction of the state of Israel: “PALESTINIAN MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE IN PEACE AND WITH DIGNITY IN THEIR OWN LAND. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AS LONG AS THE SETTLER COLONIAL STATE OF ISRAEL EXISTS,” Funez-Flores wrote.

Funez-Flores has shown support for the attacks against Israel in other ways as well. He wrote a November 28, 2023 article on Substack about the conflict, arguing for “decolonization” and “liberation.” He also signed an open letter, alongside 97 other professors from various universities, to the American Education Studies Association (AESA). This letter condemns a previous statement issued by AESA regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. The open letter from professors argues that “Israel is a settler colonial project, whose explicit goal is the systematic killing and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

Benji Gershon, president of Dallas Jewish Conservatives, was alarmed by Funez-Flores’ comments. “This is absolutely disgusting vitriol, antisemitism, and lies that are being spewed by this man. He most certainly would have been fired if he were speaking about another race or people,” Gershon told Texas Scorecard. “At a minimum, Texas Tech should immediately fire him and he should be forced to make a statement and apologize to the Jewish constituency on campus. Texas Tech needs to take this seriously, and if they don’t, I think it is incumbent upon those in both the Jewish and Christian community that stand with Israel and the Jewish people to demand that Texas Tech take action against this individual.”

Funez-Flores has also posted or reposted on X about how universities should take a position against Israel in their current war.

Texas Tech has made no public statements on the Israeli-Gaza War.

1974 Texas Tech Alum Steve Baxter of Dallas expressed dismay at Funez-Flores’ actions. “I think it’s ridiculous, particularly in Tech,” Baxter told Texas Scorecard. “It makes me disappointed that we have a professor that espouses that viewpoint and philosophy.” Baxter also wished to know where Texas Tech leadership stood on Funez-Flores.

High Standards

Texas Tech is widely held in high regard and has a Code of Ethical Conduct that communicates the high standard it demands of university employees. The Code states that employees are to do the following:

Treat everyone with respect and dignity. Do not infringe on the rights or personal values of others. Create an environment that is free of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation, and report those who do bully, harass, or retaliate.

Personal attacks on or insults of individuals have no place in the TTUS environment.

Act ethically. Do the right thing even if no one is watching. TTUS is committed to achieving excellence and expects a high standard of professionalism through ethical behavior.

It also states that while the university “encourages, and indeed expects, the free expression of views, address differences in viewpoints in a professional and civil manner.” This Code of Ethical Conduct “applies to [an employee’s] conduct in the course and scope of your employment as a public employee.”

As with any large organization, it can be difficult to keep track of all employees, and some may engage in behavior that leadership would find repugnant if they were aware.

Professor Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, on February 13, 2024, pointed out how leeway for free speech on universities is only given to one particular side. “My greatest concern is not that offensive views are being shared on campus. Rather, my concern is that such tolerance only seems to run to those on the far left,” he posted. “It is not evidence of the diversity but the hypocrisy and orthodoxy in higher education.”

Serious reform of higher education is possible, as is seen both with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to transform the formerly pro-DEI New College of Florida and with West Texas A&M’s opening of the Hill Institute to promote the “founding values of our nation.” Reform is also important for the next generation. “We cannot allow hate to fester on our college campuses or anywhere in our society,” Benji Gershon said. “It is even more imperative that we not allow teachers to indoctrinate our students with hate-filled, false ideologies and theories.”

Texas Tech did not respond to a request for comment.

Kristen Stanciu

Kristen is passionate about preserving American founding principles and educating the next generation. When she's not researching, she loves reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.