In the wake of Central Michigan University professor Robert Dale Lee’s arrest for shooting at vacuum cleaner salesmen, students, faculty and alumni have taken to social media and newspaper comment sections to share their opinions on news of Lee’s actions.
Lee’s future with the university remains uncertain as Megan Goodwin, the Human and Environmental Studies chairwoman, said it is “too early” to determine what could happen to Lee, and that the university in the process of evaluating the incident. Goodwin added that the department has “no comment” on the arrest.
Phone calls made by Central Michigan Life to Lee’s home seeking comment were not immediately returned.
One student in Lee’s cancelled FNS 370 summer class, junior Myles Caskey, said he was “shocked” to hear that his teacher had allegedly shot at traveling salesmen. However, Caskey never noticed anything strange about the professor while he was in class.
“It was really weird, he hadn’t even missed a day of class all semester,” Caskey said. “He was an interesting character, for sure. But he never made me or anyone else think he was dangerous or anything.”
According to a police report filed with the Isabella County Trial Court, alcohol is believed to be a factor in the shooting – this fact was also surprising to Caskey.
“(FNS 37) deals with health issues, so we talked once or twice about drinking,” Caskey said. “But I never got the impression that he was a heavy drinker or anything like that.”
A note was left outside one of Lee’s classrooms to notify students that their classes have been cancelled. A portion of the note said the final for the class has been waived.
Caskey said some students – whose grades were not as high as others – became concerned that their final grade in the course would take a significant hit due to the cancellation.
Each student in Lee’s class reportedly received a grade of 100 percent on the final, Caskey added.
“I mean, I’m happy to take the good grade,” he said. “I just really did not see this class ending up this way.”
Lee’s preliminary examination is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, according to the Isabella County Trial Court calendar.
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