‘You Are on Our List’: Professors Put Up Campus Fliers Threatening Professor and Students over Accused Racism, Hate Group Activity for Turning Point USA Affiliation


Tennessee Tech (TTU) is investigating after two professors targeted and threatened another professor and students over their Turning Point USA (TPUSA) involvement.

The professor featured on the flier, navy veteran A.J. Donadio, is a nursing professor that advises the TPUSA chapter at TTU. The incident occurred back in early February; the two suspects are associate professor Julia Gruber and English instructor Andrew Smith. The contents of the poster are reproduced below:

This racist college professor thought it would be a great idea to help start a Tennessee Tech chapter for this national hate group, where racist students can unite to harass, threaten, intimidate, and terrorize persons of color, feminists, liberals, and the like, especially their teachers. Their organization created a national ‘Professor Watchlist’ to harass and intimidate progressive educators, including many women, African-American, and Muslim professors. Professor Donadio and Turning Point USA. You are on our list. Your hate & hypocrisy are not welcome at Tennessee Tech. No Unity With Racists. Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech.

According to the TPUSA website, its Professor Watchlist referenced is a documentation of professors who have discriminated against college students and “advanced leftist agenda in the classroom.”

In an interview with The Tennessee Star, Donadio explained that what bothered him most was how the students were targeted. He said it also threatens his ability to care for patients properly.

“That walked right up to the limit of the First Amendment and almost crossed it,” stated Donadio. “They are undermining my ability to educate my nursing students. When I’m in a hospital situation and a patient isn’t doing well, my students need to know they can depend on me and rely on me. That affects patient care and I take that seriously.”

An ongoing investigation hasn’t deterred Smith from encouraging others to confront Turning Point USA students and supporters. The professor posted ahead of Turning Point Nashville’s Gen Free Tour event in Nashville on Wednesday, which featured TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and The Daily Wire host Candace Owens.

“Any of my Nashville Good Trouble crew going to call out these fascists tonight? At Rocketown of all places,” wrote Smith.

According to his Facebook bio, Smith identifies himself as a “hippy preacher.” Most recently in his defense of Lil Nas X’s “Satan shoes” and corresponding video giving a lap dance to Satan, Smith likened communion to an “astrological pagan” event and called Jesus a “resurrected zombie savior.” He also likened “right wing MAGA types” to those who condemned Jesus to die on the cross.

In some snapshots of surveillance camera footage shared with The Star, one of the perpetrators posting the fliers was wearing a similar scarf and beanie to the one that Smith wears in various pictures posted to his Facebook.

According to a police report, security footage showed a white, blonde female wearing a gold jacket, red sweatpants with white stripes, and blue sneakers with papers in hand in the area at the time the fliers were believed to have been posted.

Gruber has defended her actions to reporters. In an emailed statement to Herald-Citizen, Gruber said she empathized with Donadio and the students harassed by posters she’d allegedly put up.

“I, too, feel Mr. Donadio’s pain, as I feel the pain of the professors [targeted by] the organization he is affiliated with and that he is sponsoring at TTU. It doesn’t feel good to be targeted, to be singled out. It has happened to me many times in this town; it is happening currently because of my efforts to replace the Algood school mascots,” wrote Gruber. “I am relieved to learn that Mr. Donadio has issued with being called a racist. This tells me that he does not identify as one. I would therefore like to extend an invitation to him to help us in our anti-racist activities on campus and in our community.”

In a Facebook post screenshot obtained by The Star, Gruber accused Donadio and his peers of affiliation with Proud Boys, an extremist group, when they attended a Putnam County School meeting. Gruber has been reportedly aggrieved about the Algood Middle School mascot, “Redskins.”

“The Turning Point USA sponsoring [Tennessee] Tech faculty member Donadio , who like me, is not from here — but his voice counts — was sitting right behind me, with his Proud Boys, clapping very loudly when the rep[resentative] for Algood (I think we should next introduce a motion to rename the town Nogood) announced that the board was not going to discuss the matter further [because] it would divide the community,” wrote Gruber.

Donadio told The Star that, regardless, that Gruber’s issue with him concerning the mascot has nothing to do with TTU, TPUSA, or the students targeted.

The Star reached out to TTU spokespersons about the investigation. They didn’t respond by press time.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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21 Thoughts to “‘You Are on Our List’: Professors Put Up Campus Fliers Threatening Professor and Students over Accused Racism, Hate Group Activity for Turning Point USA Affiliation”

  1. Anonymous

    Honestly I had this guy as my professor. He was a soldier and passionate supporter of those who are misfortunate. He is very personable and easy to talk to. He is a nursing professor that requires professionalism and advocacy for patients and students of any background. He is no racist. He is blunt but he is not someone who is out to ruin or degrade anybody. He cares for people and he has a heart. He doesn’t deserve to be called a racist.

  2. M. Flatt

    Setting aside the racism issue for the moment, let’s look at that sentence, “You are on our list.”
    Such language implies that the speaker either has, or plans to have, power over the life or livelihood of the intended target. That is the language of a bully, period.

  3. Deplorable Bay Stater

    It’s pretty easy to see who the real racist hate-mongers are, and it’s not Prof. Donadio or TPUSA. Anyone who can’t see this is either hopelessly biased or so debilitated by their Trump Hatred Derangement that they are no longer capable of rational thought.

  4. AP

    How much longer is TN Tech going to let this Julia Gruber stir the pot before they terminate her! Based on all the articles I’ve read, she is nothing but a trouble maker for this community. People of Cookeville & Algood are good people and she thinks she can move here and add her 2cents. No one cares what she thinks! All she is doing is ruining her career. Why is TN Tech allowing this person to create issues that are not here! It REALLY makes them look bad!
    Mr Donadio – sue the hell out of those 2 professors for slander and defamation!! Then if TTU does nothing, sue the hell out of them too!!

    1. Jerry pemerton

      She needs to go.

  5. BB

    There’s a reason it’s referred to as the “Washington football team” now. Anyone defending a mascot that insensitive obviously has issues. Glad I graduated when I did. Can’t imagine having him as a clinical instructor. Good on the other two for calling it out.

  6. Edward Cuevas

    These “professors” could care less about racism. They are using the concept of racism to cover their agenda of destabilizing systems that they consider counter to the leftist mind set. These “professors” know a racist policy does not exist in fact, they are probably the most racist people one can encounter. The best outcome is that TTU dismiss these “professors”.

  7. Beatrice Shaw

    This is a 50+ YEAR OLD MAN indoctrinating our young people with racist ideas through a government funded University. There HAS to be a major crime committed here. Please, please please do something to stop the onslaught of racism. A few years ago it was not as bad as it is now….and it gets worse daily!!! God help us all and we head back toward slavery type days.

    1. Gordon Shumway

      your opinion is a sign the education system has failed us.

    2. Allan Thompson

      There’s that ‘racist’ word again. Dear Beatrice, can you please explain exactly how this professor and the TPUSA group is ‘racist’??? I know liberals love to smear people with such hateful words, lets hear your support of such an allegation. P.S. might want to watch other channels than just CNN/MSNBC, I do. The only indoctrinating going on is of the liberal progressive softies teaching everyone to be victims and that they need to embrace more government, white privilege and more illegal immigration in order to be woke. But please, answer above questions so I can finally be enlightened.

  8. LM

    It appears from his FB posts that Mr. Smith is off of his meds. It also appears that FB is protecting him.

  9. GIna Gail

    I’m amazed that Tennessee Tech would allow this hate group to be organized at the University. I also cannot believe the professors who tried to warn others about the group are the ones who are being investigated!! Why is this University allowing Turning Point to be an organization on their campus?

    1. mikey whipwreck

      you’re either a troll or a moron

    2. Allan Thompson

      Wow, “Hate Group” , so quick to condemn this professor and these young students. PLEASE, explain the evidence you have of them being so ‘hateful’. Those ‘professors’ you mention are bullies….reminds me of a quote, “Liberals, where they want everyone to look different but think the same”

  10. Teresa Eaton

    This situation brings my longtime financial support of Tech to a screeching halt. If the University tolerates these two woke bullies, I’m out.

  11. mary

    Who the hell does this guy think he is?

    1. John Bumpus

      Turning Point USA founded by Charlie Kirk is neither a racist, national hate group nor are Kirk and Owens (mentioned above) racists. Owens (who is a black, politically conservative woman, by the way) and Kirk are probably just like an overwhelming percentage of everyday Tennesseans. Both Owens and Kirk oppose the current left-wing ‘woke,’ SJW, Marxist movement for which they have earned the enmity of the two profs mentioned in the aforesaid article. In my opinion, Professor Donadio is to be commended for his sponsorship of a TPUSA student group at TTU. Likewise, Professors Gruber and Smith (mentioned above) should be disciplined (in my opinion, TERMINATED) for their left-wing activities. In my opinion, it is Gruber and Smith who are the haters!

  12. Gordon Shumway

    well, decision time for TTU, are they going to go the way of the loony leftist universities or not?

  13. John Bumpus

    In a popular television historical series about the American War for Independence, a prominent university professor (and British by the way) opines that the American colonists in the 1760s and the 1770s were constantly ‘sniffing’ the air for the slightest taint of a British threat to American liberty. THAT IS WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING HERE, NOW! Tennessee is not communist, YET! But it can be. What these two TTU professors are doing is beyond the pale.

    I have commented recently about Virginia having ‘gone off of the rails’ in the last few years. There are still millions and millions of Virginia voters who are honest, decent, hard-working, God-fearing citizens and voters in the Old Dominion, but they have been politically overwhelmed by the newly arrived radicals in the D. C. suburbs of Northern Virginia and by other long-established voting blocs in a few other places in the Commonwealth (mostly the urban areas). Virginia is not some place far, far away—Virginia is just ‘right over there’ in proximity to Tennessee.

    It is time for the Tennessee General Assembly to make it abundantly CLEAR to the TTU Administration (and maybe a few other such similar places too, like UTK) that what the two little ‘budding’ SJW Marxist (communist in my mind) profs mentioned in the article are doing is UNACCEPTABLE at a publicly financed institution of higher education in Tennessee. If these two anti-free speech profs insist upon doing things like this, THEY MUST DO IT ELSEWHERE! NOT IN TENNESSEE—NIP IT IN THE BUD!

  14. I urged the Governor, if he read it and my Senator to have fired all of the Social justice Communists and Boards that hire them. Stop the Racist Canc3l Culture Marxists. Do not allow it to be preached in any of our Schools!
    End America’s Nightmare, Impeach Biden and Harris! Get this on everyone’s lips and n everyone’s ears!