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More on CV Vitolo-Haddad and Jessica Krug​

September 14, 2020

California State University, Fresno, extended a tenure-track job offer to CV Vitolo-Haddad but is now looking into Vitolo-Haddad’s recent admission that they (their preferred pronoun) claimed to be a person of color online and in conversations at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where they are currently a Ph.D. candidate in journalism and mass communication.

Fresno State “is aware of the concerns regarding CV Vitolo-Haddad that have been appearing online,” the university said in a statement. “Please know that this matter is currently under review. The university will always uphold its core values of discovery, diversity and distinction. We are taking this matter seriously and acknowledge the pain and confusion this situation has caused members of our campus and external community.”

A spokesperson for the university confirmed that Vitolo-Haddad received a conditional job offer for fall 2021 prior to the allegations of racial fraud coming to light, “subject to our background check procedures.” Vitolo-Haddad, who is a white Italian American, did not respond to a request for comment.

Duke University Press spoke out last week about Jessica Krug, the now-former associate professor of history at George Washington University who also recently admitted to racial fraud. The press has faced questions about what it will do about Krug’s book, Fugitive Modernities: Kisama and the Politics of Freedom, which it published in 2018.

Gisela Fosado, the press’s editorial director, said in a statement that almost everyone “I’ve spoken to about Krug’s book has asked about profits from her book,” and that the “truth is that the book, like many monographic scholarly works, did not generate a profit -- its expenses were more than its revenues.” That said, the press will move “all proceeds from the book to a fund that will support the work of Black and Latinx scholars.”

“Our conversations and deliberations about other actions will continue,” Fosado added.

On a more personal note, Fosado said that Krug -- who is white with Jewish heritage but claimed various Black and Afro-Latinx identities -- insisted to her that her name was pronounced “Cruz.”

Krug “told me the fictitious story of how her grandparents came to this country from the Caribbean and how immigration officials made a transcription mistake on their last name,” Fosado said. “She also repeated other details that I now know to be false about her identity and her past.”

Fosado said that that those who promoted Krug’s work -- herself included -- have “struggled in trying to consider the relationship between Krug’s scholarship and her wrongdoing.” Krug “leveraged her deception to enable and promote her work, in ways that are not quantifiable or always specific,” she continued. “As others have pointed out, Krug’s scholarship may not have ever existed without the funding that was inseparable from her two decades of lies.”

What to do with Krug's scholarship, “which, as it happens, has been widely praised and recognized as important?” Fosado asked. “Many scholars and scholar activists have continued to push for a focus not just on content of scholarship, but also on context, methods, ethics and politics -- often promoting decolonial approaches. These are the conversations and movements that can lead us forward. I hope that we can all muster the strength to lean into these conversations, even though they will challenge us all.”

Krug, who resigned from George Washington last week, has not responded to multiple requests for comment about her case.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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