University of South Carolina-Upstate professor Richard “Ric” Routh (a.k.a. “Professor Smartypants”) has been suspended from his job – without pay – pending an S.C. Attorney General’s investigation into his various “extracurricular” activities at the government-run institution of higher learning.

According to The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the school says its suspension of Routh was “on the basis of advice from University of South Carolina’s legal counsel in Columbia.”

Routh’s various businesses – which he has reportedly been using taxpayer resources to promote – were first exposed in this exclusive report published by FITS. A follow-up report revealed the extent to which Routh – who draws a $66,861 salary from taxpayers to teach students “business informatics” at USC-Upstate – was leveraging taxpayer time, facilities and equipment to promote his enterprises.

He may have even used his students to advance his personal business interests – which is interesting when you consider his low opinion of their intellectual capacity.

“More than one-third of them are incapable of figuring out what 10 percent of a billion dollars is,” Routh said in a video promoting investment in one of his schemes. “Most of them have no clue that you need to collect 1,000 different piles of a billion dollars in each pile in order to have a trillion dollars.”

He later adds that “these same students have no idea that we even have a separation of powers in our federal government, or why that is historically important.”

In addition to Routh – who reminds us of a penny ante James Bond villain – at least three other USC-Upstate professors have been involved in his various enterprises. No word yet on when – or if – they will be held accountable for their actions.

FITS has consistently called for the immediate privatization of South Carolina’s bloated, inefficient and underperforming system of higher education – which features more than 80 campus locations across the state and costs taxpayers billions of dollars annually.