Julio Pino denies allegations of offensive classroom language


Dr. Julio Pino speaks with senior history major Elijah Ali after leaving class Thursday, Jan. 21, 2015.

Olivia Minnier

Former students of Kent State professor Julio Pino, under investigation for his alleged ties to ISIS, didn’t mention pro-Islamic statements in their end of the semester reviews. Instead, several students said his remarks were inappropriate for the classroom, some even adding they were sexually explicit.

Pino is an associate professor in the history department who teaches courses on Latin America. The FBI and Homeland Security have been investigating him for the past year and a half, after allegations arose that he was using the classroom as a way to recruit students for ISIS.

Out of the over 200 SSI’s that were obtained by The Kent Stater from fall 2014 to spring 2015, the results are mixed. Though this is common, some students had negative comments toward Pino. 

“He was rude, obnoxious and unprofessional. He should at least get fired if not charged with criminal offenses,” read one student’s review in spring of 2015.

Another student from that semester’s class said the jokes and rhetoric he used in class were offensive.

“Be careful what you say. A lot of people become offended by your ‘jokes,’ especially with the sexual jokes. They aren’t funny,” the student said.

Later on in the SSI, the same student added, ”One of the worst classes I’ve ever had. I felt like I did not learn anything. I had no motivation to come to class at all. Make the class more interesting. This was the worst.” 

In response to the claims, Pino issued a statement denying any inappropriate behavior.

“My classroom conduct at Kent State for the past twenty-four years has always been one of professorial courtesy and veneration for the students. Honor and peace in the classroom are the twin stars that guide my teaching,” he said.

However, not all of the reviews from the classes were negative.

“Great teacher A++,” one student in the fall of 2015 said.

Others commended his depth of knowledge and the motivation they gained from his history course.

“This class has motivated me more to learn about other cultures. I can honestly say this is currently my favorite course,” said a student from a fall 2014 history course.

No official action by Kent State has been made to remove Pino from his tenured faculty position at this time. Provost Todd Diacon issued a comment in response to the SSI’s.

“Student surveys of instruction are an important component of the evaluations of our professors. We value students’ comments and observations, and certainly we encourage all students to complete these surveys. As Provost I always work with Deans and Department Chairs to address concerns raised in student surveys of instructions,” he said.

Olivia Minnier is an administration reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].