MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — One University of South Alabama professor will return to work after an investigation into “racially insensitive” photos.
Dr. Teresa Weldy shown in a 2014 Halloween photo holding a noose with another professor, Alex Sharland, who is shown holding a whip. Another photo from the same event showed then-Mitchell College of Business Dean Bob Wood dressed in a confederate uniform.
The three were placed on paid leave in March of 2021. A campus-wide protest was held, calling for the group to be fired. The University hired an outside attorney to conduct an investigation into the incident. The investigator reviewed complaints made by faculty, staff and students.
The investigator found there “was no basis for the University to continue with a formal process against Dr. Weldy,” according to a news release from the University of South Alabama.
A report done by the investigator concluded that Weldy did not plan to participate in the Halloween costume contest and did not bring the noose with her. She only came to the contest for several minutes, and only knew about the photo after it was shown in the media, according to the release.
No updates were provided for the other two faculty members. The University previously said each faculty member’s participation in the event would be evaluated separately.