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Professor sues UCLA for suspending him after he refused to mark black students’ work more leniently

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A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles has sued his school’s dean for damages, he said in the Bari Weiss report. share pile newsletter, after he was suspended for refusing to mark the work of black and white students with different criteria.

Gordon Klein, an accounting teacher at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management who has worked at UCLA for 40 years, filed his case Monday in LA.

Gordon Klein, who has taught at UCLA for 40 years, on Monday sued the Anderson School of Management, where he teaches

He was briefly suspended from UCLA in the summer of 2020 amid an argument over trauma caused by the George Floyd protests.

Klein said he was suing for unspecified damages “not only to redress the wrongful conduct he suffered, but also to protect academic freedom.”

He said in court documents that he “suffered severe emotional stress, trauma and physical ailments for which he was treated by his primary care physician, a gastrointestinal physician and a psychiatrist.”

The documents state: ‘Plaintiff also suffered significant loss of income.

‘Since about 2008 Plaintiff has had a very successful private advisory practice (‘Expert Witness Practice’) as an expert witness. The practice of expert witnesses – of which the defendants were well aware at the time of their actions and the events alleged herein – has served as Plaintiff’s main source of income and is conducted independently of his university obligations.’

The UCLA Anderson School of Management, where Klein still teaches, suspended him for three weeks in June 2020 after he refused to mark students' work based on their skin color

The UCLA Anderson School of Management, where Klein still teaches, suspended him for three weeks in June 2020 after he refused to mark students’ work based on their skin color

He said his work as a consultant plummeted after the UCLA disagreement and that he sought financial compensation.

Klein’s troubles began when, during George Floyd’s protests, a student wrote to him asking him to be more lenient on the work of black students because the black students had been traumatized by Floyd’s murder.

Klein, writing on Weiss’ Substack on Thursday, said he found the request “deeply condescending and insulting to the same black students he cared about so much.”

He replied to the student: ‘Are there students who can be of mixed descent, like half black half Asian? What do you suggest I do with them? A full concession or only half?

“Do you have any idea if students are coming from Minneapolis? I’m guessing they’re probably particularly devastated too. I think a white student might be even more devastated by that, especially because some might think they’re racist even if they’re not.’

He concluded that he would not otherwise mark students’ work based on their skin color.

George Floyd protests are pictured in Los Angeles on June 2, 2020, following the murder of the Minnesota man on May 25.  A student at UCLA Anderson said black students were traumatized by the events and needed a milder mark

George Floyd protests are pictured in Los Angeles on June 2, 2020, following the murder of the Minnesota man on May 25. A student at UCLA Anderson said black students were traumatized by the events and needed a milder mark

Klein’s email went viral and he was attacked on social media – he received despicable insults and death threats and needed police protection.

Klein explains, “The Anderson administrators were upset, and rightly so. But not because my life was now threatened.

Antonio Bernardo, the dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, was sued Monday by Klein

Antonio Bernardo, the dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, was sued Monday by Klein

“The problem was Anderson’s reputation. It hadn’t appointed an African-American professor for decades. It only had a handful of permanent Latino professors.

‘Black students made up about two percent of the student population. And the number of men outnumbered women about two-to-one, leading many students to call Anderson the MANderson School of MANagement.”

He wrote that Antonio Bernardo, the dean of UCLA Anderson, decided that “a well-timed publicity stunt could divert attention from the school’s reputation as an inhospitable place for people of color” and suspended Klein — sparking anger on campus, and both petitioned for his resignation and for his reinstatement.

On June 3, Anderson tweeted, “Respect and equality for all are core principles at UCLA Anderson. It is very disturbing to learn of this email, which we are investigating.

“Our apologies to the student who received it and to anyone who is as upset and offended by it as we are.”

Klein said he was left “confused and hurt,” despite recovering after less than three weeks.

On the Substack, he wrote that he was taking legal action to both win damages and make a point about academic freedom.

“No employee should ever cringe for fear of his employer’s power to silence legitimate views, and no society should tolerate state-backed autocrats violating constitutional mandates,” he said.

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