Loyola University Maryland is looking into allegations that one of its economics professors has ties to a southern nationalist organization regarded as a hate group, school officials said Monday.
While in Washington last week to testify at a U.S. House subcommittee hearing, Loyola professor Thomas DiLorenzo was accused of having ties to the League of the South, an Alabama-based pro-secession organization that advocates an independent southern republic. The organization is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based nonprofit civil rights organization.
DiLorenzo denied that he has ties to the League of the South, rebutting a claim made by U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, a Democrat from St. Louis. DiLorenzo did not respond to requests for comment.
Timothy Law Snyder, Loyola vice president for academic affairs, said on Monday that the school "would not support anybody confirmed to be a member of a confirmed hate group. His response has been a denial of having that association."
Asked if the school believes the League of the South is a confirmed hate group based on the Southern Poverty Law Center's listing, Snyder said, "It's something we would have to look into. And we're certainly aware of the allegations here, and based on the recent conversations that are taking place we are looking into them.
"Professor DiLorenzo has denied any affiliation," Snyder added, "so if we find there's more to this, certainly we would take appropriate action."
That action depends on the investigation's outcome, he said.
Asked about the school's policy for probing affiliations of prospective and current employees, Snyder said faculty are reviewed annually. He said internal response regarding the matter has been "minimal."
"All this takes place in a background of academic freedom and free speech, both of which we need to be concerned with in a situation like this," Snyder said.