UNC Asheville faculty member identified in a YouTube video by the channel Dads Against Predators South Carolina

The Blue Banner staff

UNC Asheville officials announced on Wednesday that they have put a faculty member on administrative leave in light of a newly-surfaced video showing the UNCA professor meeting with an individual who he was told was a 14-year-old boy.  

A video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday by Dads Against Predators South Carolina shows George Heard, UNCA inorganic and computational chemistry professor, being approached by an activist from the organization Dads Against Predators South Carolina, after the two had conversed on the app Grindr. 

A corresponding Instagram account posted screenshots to its Instagram story of messages sent through Grindr between Heard and the activist. Heard sent a variety of messages, one of which was asking if they had experience.

Under the name “Aussie Bear,” Heard sent a message that said, “I can pick you up if you want to suck or something. I live in downtown Asheville.”

The message was sent prior to the activist telling Heard he was 14-years-old. In a message the activist said, “I turn 15 in May tho.”

“So long as nobody gets into trouble I thought you were 16 or 17,” Heard said in response to the activist’s message.

In an email from the Chancellor’s Office sent to students, faculty and staff at 6:48 a.m. Wednesday, officials said they had been made “aware of an issue involving a faculty member that recently took place off campus” and are taking the matter seriously. The email went on to state that the faculty member in question will be placed on administrative leave until the conclusion of an investigation into the matter.

Heard is listed as a regional director for the North Carolina Science Olympiad program, which works with K-12 students interested in entering a career in the STEM field. 

Heard studied at the University of Tasmania and the University of Melbourne, as well as taught at McMaster University in Ontario and Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia prior to coming to UNCA in 1999. 

Outside of UNCA, Heard is involved in a variety of Asheville-based groups, including local comedy group The Feral Chihuahuas and the Western Carolinas sector of the American Chemical Society.

According to chemistry student and CHEM 111 Teaching Assistant Cassius Guthrie, there was a tense atmosphere in the chemistry department.

“You could tell people knew what was going on and didn’t want to pretend like nothing happened, but at the same time no one had brought it up. Our professor was also very stressed and was trying to keep us moving along so we wouldn’t talk about it.”

The Blue Banner will continue to cover this topic as details continue to emerge.


According to an email from the Chancellor’s office, UNCA accepted Heard’s resignation which goes into effect on April 1. He will be relieved of all his university-related work leading up to the day and remains on administrative leave.   

Updated on March 31.