A Catholic University of America dean who was suspended after posting comments on social media that questioned allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was a Supreme Court nominee at the time, will be allowed to continue teaching this semester, a school spokeswoman said this week.
William Rainford, dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service, will teach a half-semester class that is expected to begin next week, Karna Lozoya, a university spokeswoman, said in an email.
Catholic President John Garvey “appoints deans directly, and the president himself made the call to suspend Rainford’s appointment as dean for the remainder of the semester,” Lozoya wrote. Garvey opted not to suspend Rainford from teaching, Lozoya said.
She continued: "By not removing him completely from the school, Rainford has the opportunity to begin rebuilding relationships with faculty and staff.”
It was unclear how many students would be in the class or the focus of the course. Through Lozoya, Rainford declined to comment.
Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice Saturday after a contentious confirmation battle that centered on allegations of sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations.
Rainford, a tenured professor, was suspended in late September, after tweeting comments on the account @NCSSSDean when Kavanaugh was still a nominee. The suspension will extend until the end of the semester, Catholic’s president has said.
“Rainford’s tweets of the past week are unacceptable," Garvey wrote in an email to the campus. “We should expect any opinion he expresses about sexual assault to be thoughtful, constructive, and reflective of the values of Catholic University, particularly in communications from the account handle @NCSSSDean. While it was appropriate for him to apologize and to delete his Twitter and Facebook accounts, this does not excuse the serious lack of judgment and insensitivity of his comments."
Rainford, who had been an active Twitter user, tweeted about Julie Swetnick, who has alleged that Kavanaugh was present at a house party in 1982. Swetnick alleges she was the victim of a gang rape at that party.
“Swetnick is 55 y/o,” Rainford posted on Twitter. “Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with&by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!”
He also posted an apparent reference to Christine Blasey Ford, the first Kavanaugh accuser.