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Professor Fired for Classroom Conduct Following Racist Posts

January 15, 2021

The University of Central Florida plans to fire Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology, not for his past social media comments about “Black privilege,” but for his classroom conduct, according to

"The investigation began following a series of complaints the university received, primarily from current and former students, about his conduct in the classroom," the university said in a statement, noting that Negy has the opportunity to appeal the termination decision. He is not currently teaching, however. "This process was comprehensive and unbiased. The UCF Office of Institutional Equity spoke with more than 300 people and reviewed hundreds of documents and many hours of audio."

Central Florida said its supports "the rights of everyone in our campus community to freely express their opinions, even those we do not support. We also value faculty members’ right to academic freedom to present subjects forthrightly and responsibly, even when those discussions involve comments that some might find offensive." Faculty and staff members "also have a responsibility to not create a hostile or discriminatory environment, which can violate the university’s nondiscrimination policy and code of conduct. The university is committed to a culture of inclusive excellence, and we do not tolerate discrimination against any students or employees.”

Texas A&M University at College Station recently investigated the classroom conduct of two professors following complaints about their extramural speech, eventually disciplining one and terminating the other.

Negy's lawyer, Samantha Harris, said via email that the "outcome of UCF's investigation was predetermined. When Prof. Negy's views became politically inconvenient to them, they set out to find grounds to fire him. It was 'show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.' This pretextual, defamatory investigative report is the latest chapter in UCF’s effort to ruin Dr. Negy -- a man with a distinguished 22-year teaching career -- because they don’t like his views. UCF, along with those who solicited and investigated false complaints against him, have violated his rights and defamed him, and will be held accountable in court."

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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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