The University of Central Florida fired Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology, not for his past social media comments about “Black privilege,” but for his classroom conduct, according to ClickOrlando.com. Complaints about Negy’s posts reportedly triggered an investigation into his teaching that led to his dismissal.
“At UCF, we support 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,” the university said in a statement. “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, brought, and investigated false complaints against him, have violated his rights and defamed him, and will be held accountable in court.”