Thoughts on the suspension of this professor?

Harping on “two weeks” by itself is disingenuous. He was teaching a three-week class.

Disagree – the point is, it was a short period of time left, and the dean probably thought it was easier to just let some other teacher take over. If this were a six month class, more thought would probably have gone into taking him off the class.

Harping on suspension is a lie – that is, your news sources lied to you, not that you’re lying. You’ve been lied to and you should get better news sources. Are you going to apologize to the posters in this thread for accidentally misleading them and causing needless outrage? Are you going to ask the moderators to fix the thread title to clarify that the teacher wasn’t suspended and continued teaching other classes at that very school?

I’m going by everything posted in this thread by @complexfreeformd2r plus what I’ve read in CNN and BBC among others. I will leave @complexfreeformd2r to defend their own posts, but there is nothing I have read here or elsewhere that contradicts the fact that he was DISCIPLINED. There’s no question about this except by you, although you seem obsessed with the term “suspended”.

If you have information or cites that show he was NOT disciplined, please provide them, don’t use the old Trump’s trope of:

You’re speculating is bullshit as well:

You’re quibbling about semantics. He was DISCIPLINED and that should never have happened. End of discussion.

In a common-sense world, this whole thing should have ended within minutes by the USC administration simply laying down the sensible law: “This word is in a non-English language. It has nothing to do with the N-word. The end.”

Thanks for the non-cite. Let me know if you find one. I’m not obsessed with the word “suspended” – it’s right in the title of the thread.

And, his/her news sources did lie to him. The original article says that that professor is no longer teaching, which is false. Just checked it again and it hasn’t been corrected. That’s a lie, and that lie is causing needless outrage.

So, it’s not a Trump trope about “Fake News”, it was literally fake news – he hasn’t been suspended and he’s still teaching.

I agree with this. Do you also agree that in a common sense world, this wouldn’t have made headlines anywhere, even though it went down as it did? It’s less than a tempest in a teapot. We don’t start threads every time a professor is stopped from teaching one of his classes. The articles referenced are meant to cause outrage and to drive Americans apart. It’s something that people can point to when they say something over the line – “Sure, I called her <bad thing>, but don’t be like the PC police…<references this bullshit>.”

I wouldn’t agree with this, because this is a “canary in a coal mine” issue. Sure, the incident is minor in and of itself, just like a canary is technically just a little bird. But what it represents as a symptom of the direction society is going in is why the story blew up so ferociously on social media.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on that. And, it hasn’t blown up at all on any social media I follow. If you follow social media that’s meant to outrage you, I guess you’ll see it, but I avoid media whose sole purpose is to outrage and/or lie.

While there was an over-reaction to this professor here, the net result is another 1,000 women not getting harassed at work, another 1,000 minorities not having to hear another racist joke at work, and so on and so forth. The occasional over-reaction is worth it for the way that society has improved tremendously for women, minorities, LGBTQ, and other oppressed folks. Of course, there’s still a long way to go.

If this is a canary in a coal mine, what is it when the president of the United States specifically and purposely calls COVID-19 the “China virus”? What does that indicate? That seems to be a much larger canary.

At least part of why it became the story it did, is because what happened was exaggerated. As I posted earlier in the thread, stories clearly said he had been suspended, and one even had a headline that he had been fired. That is the story people will be telling about this incident. Not that a professor either volunteered or was asked or told not to teach the remaining 2 weeks of his 3 week course over this while he continued his other teaching duties.

Yes, the dean was wrong in his handling of it. No, the professor was neither fired nor suspended. People have objected and pointed out how wrong the dean was. We have yet to see whether something further will happen. There is almost certainly some sort of formal process necessary for any action taken against the professor to be “discipline” and almost certainly includes an appeal process, and potentially a judicial review process. (See Hopefully, this will be corrected through the use of that process. But, again, the outrage narrative generated via the exaggerated claims will have served its purpose, and people will remember and repeat the exaggerated version.

Thanks for stating this much more clearly than I have!

So you agree the dean was wrong in how he handled this?

If you mean me, I refer you to post #40:

Do you agree that the article that this thread was based on was wrong and should be corrected? Do you further agree that the OP should apologize for relying on such crappy news sources and ask a mod to fix the title of this thread?

I don’t much care. I’m more interested in the facts of the case and what really happened than your outrage at a poster and semantics over what constitutes punishment.

Or the lack of punishment, right? What are the facts of the case?

Here’s my summary: Some students complained because a professor said something that’s innocuous in Mandarin but sounds like “nigga nigga nigga” to English-speaking Americans. As the professor himself notes, he probably should have used another example. He’s used this example in the past, but the virtual nature of this particular class probably had a different effect on the students than the usual in-person classes (that part is my opinion, not a fact). The dean of the school, who replaced a dean who had gotten in trouble for some apparent racial insensitivity, went too far the other way and issued a silly memo and asked for another teacher to teach that class. The professor in question issued a pretty convincing apology and continued teaching his other classes without incident.

Professional outrage media got a hold of this, and either purposely or accidentally exaggerated the implications for the professor. That media then misled the OP of this thread and he or she created this thread with the misleading title about the suspension of the professor.

Without the suspension, this really is totally nothing – it’s a dean issuing a stupid memo of a stupid misunderstanding. If the headline was, “Professor takes over a class from another professor after a stupid misunderstanding, but the rest of the other professor’s academic life seems unchanged” it would generate that outrage that Russian propaganda and right wing media is so desperate to kick up. So, yes, I take exception to the word “suspension” in the title.

For example, if the title said, “Professor eats babies!” because someone overheard something like that and picked it up, but it turned out that the professor eats veal, I would think a correction would be in order.

I’m not outraged, but I do get annoyed when right-wing media and Russian propaganda stir up this kind of bullshit, and I get especially annoyed when the bullshit isn’t even true.

Like I said, the “PC police” have helped millions of people work, study, live their lives without constant racist, sexist, and anti-gay jokes and other little affronts that they’ve had to deal with in a way that I never have. If they occasionally go to far (and the result is, well, almost nothing), then it’s a small price to pay.

I snipped the rest of your post because, again, I’m not interested in playing dueling outrages between political parties. I agree that the benefits of being sensitive to others, especially the powerless, far outweighs the costs of occasionally going too far the other way.

I disagree that this is a “nothing”. Reading about this case, three quotes stuck out to me:

From the professor’s letter:

"“Unfortunately messages have circulated that suggest ill intent, extensive previous knowledge, inaccurate events and these are factually inaccurate”. This clearly indicates, to me, that there were certain students/forces/people, who attempted to slander this professor for his actions and impute some kind of evil intent. . That attempted witch-hunt is, given the facts and his multiple apologies, disgusting.

From the Chronicle of Higher Learning:

“But a few students rejected those options. Instead, they wanted Patton removed.”

Had everyone involved been grownups, it would have been a “nothing”. Graciously accepting a well-intentioned apology wasn’t enough, though. At least some of the people involved wanted to make the professor suffer. And that’s not “nothing”.

Finally, again from the professor: “I have felt terrible ever since.” This dude still seems to get it. Despite the repercussions, he’s still on board with “politicial correctness” and trying to make the world a better place for everyone. Good on him.

OK, it’s almost nothing. A professor at USC doesn’t lose his job, feels bad for something he did inadvertently to offend some overly sensitive students. Students are idiots and try to get him fired and fail. 1,000 more people die of COVID-19, we have another 85 gun deaths, and the president just called the head of the CDC confused for saying that masks work against the “China virus.”

Maybe this should be in MPSIMS: Professor doesn’t get suspended or fired! Students act stupidly! Dean overreacts!

This incident is indicative of nothing, no trends in “PC policing”, and, as the professor himself understands, the benefit of trying to make the world a better place vastly outweigh the occasional over-reaction.

Anyway, feel free to protest for this guy. Maybe they’ll bring the students back for the two weeks he didn’t teach. He’ll probably tell you that he should have done things differently and no protesting is necessary, but don’t let that slow you down.

Question for you: Do you think it matters whether he was suspended or not? Do you think this story has any legs at all if it didn’t start out with the claim that he was suspended or even fired? I don’t think it does.

I’m super glad you’re asking a question about what I think rather than just ascribing views to me that I don’t have like the rest of your post. That does make it more likely for me to respond.

The fact the dean and the students didn’t compound their mis-steps by suspending him certainly matters. But it doesn’t mean they didn’t make those mis-steps in the first place. And, again, I’m not really interested in your war against the anti-PC movement. But I do think it’s important to recognize when you’ve gone too far.

First, you complain about me ascribing views to you that you don’t have – I guess you mean my protest crack? Because otherwise, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t think I ascribed any views to you at all – I stated my views.

Then, you say that I have a war against the anti-PC movement. A war! Ironic, but actually ironic, not in the “rain on your wedding day” way.

I recognized that this went to far way back in post 50, so I don’t know WTF you want from me.

When come back, bring something interesting to say, because this is pretty tiresome.

I want absolutely nothing from you. I’ll leave you to your frothing.

Interesting. Well, if you feel like quoting where I’ve ascribed views to you, I’ll take a look tomorrow. It’s time to get my Barzal sweater on, grab a beer, and cheer on the Islanders.

Go Islanders!!!