UCF professor suspended after video brings 'several complaints,' officials say
'We want him back:' Students start petition arguing suspension went too far
ORLANDO, Fla. – University of Central Florida professor Dr. Kollbe Ahn has hired an attorney after his a suspension over a video he posted last week which university officials say led them to discover multiple other videos now under investigation.
Ahn, a chemistry instructor, said he was escorted off campus, his labs were shut down, and his classes were taken away because of the video he said he posted as a joke.
"I thought that was a satire situation and funny video, like 'Saturday Night Live,' but UCF did not see it that way, so I have been suspended," Ahn said in a video message to his students that he posted on YouTube after his suspension.
The video under investigation, titled "Kollbe's Anger Translator," shows the professor at his desk with another person acting as his "anger translator."
"Last Friday, I was falsely accused by a student," Ahn said in the video. "I know a lot of people out there think I don't get angry because I'm a professor, but that's just not true. I do get angry a lot."
That portion of the video is then followed by the "anger translator," an unknown associate of Ahn's saying, “Oh, hell no. You mother-[expletive] must have forgot that snitches get stitches."
The video has since been edited down to just 51 seconds. The owner of the account wrote in the comments that the trim took place because the owner was "advised to take down the video during the investigation."
The video is a spoof of a speech by President Obama at the 2015 White House Correspondent's dinner. There, comedian Keegen-Michael Key acted as an "anger translator" for the president.
However, some didn't find the video funny, according to UCF officials. In fact, the video was followed by several complaints, according to UCF's assistant vice president of communications, Chad Binette.
"UCF has placed Dr. Ahn on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into videos posted online," Binette wrote in an email to News 6. "The Chemistry Department initially received several verbal complaints about a video, and that led to the discovery of a channel that included multiple videos."
Now, Ahn's students are coming to his support. UCF senior Anna Seo started a petition Friday, which has since garnered more than 600 students expressing their feelings that the university went too far in suspending Ahn.
"We want him back," Seo said. "I just feel like it got blown out of proportion."
Senior Alisha Nayee said other actions could have been taken instead.
"I thought it was far with the profanity, but I felt like they could have banned it. They could have taken it down. They shouldn't have let him go," Nayee said.
Binette did not say how long Ahn's suspension could last. However, he did say university officials are working to make sure students are not negatively impacted by the move. Seo and Nayee said they already have a new professor who has a new curriculum, which means new costly textbooks weeks after the semester has already started.
"We did change the textbook and I looked on Amazon and it's $141," Seo said.
Binette said officials are looking into the textbook situation.
When seeking comment, Ahn referred News 6 to his attorney, who didn't want to talk Tuesday.
"There is going to be no further comment until UCF completes their investigation," attorney Blair Jackson said.
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