By The Associated Press / The Guardian

Three professors at the University of South Alabama have been placed on leave over racially insensitive Halloween photos, the university said.

Tony Waldrop, the USA president, made the announcement on Friday. An independent investigation will be conducted by the attorney Suntrease Williams-Maynard, a former trial attorney for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Mobile and a former assistant US attorney, he said.

The pictures were taken at a campus Halloween party in 2014, according to a petition created by USA students, multiple agencies reported. Then-dean of the Mitchell College of Business and current finance professor Bob Wood dressed in a Confederate uniform while professors Alex Sharland and Teresa Weldy posed with a whip and a noose.

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