ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida professor who made headlines for his racist tweets over the summer could soon be fired for classroom misconduct unrelated to his controversial social media posts.
Charles Negy, an associate professor of psychology at UCF, shared an opinion editorial post from a blog in June that led to calls for him to step down or the university to fire him.
“This article is spot on (will infuriate folks). Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback,” Negy wrote in the tweet.
Student government leaders passed a resolution this summer asking for UCF to fire Negy, writing that some of their peers feel “unsafe and unwelcome” in light of Negy’s comments and other prospective students are now reconsidering whether they’d still like to attend UCF.
Following a series of complaints against Negy, UCF launched an investigation about his conduct in the classroom. UCF Office of Institutional Equity Investigators spoke to more than 300 people, including former and current students, and reviewed documents and audio.
On Wednesday, UCF notified Negy of the university’s intent to terminate his employment.
The allegations of misconduct were unrelated to Negy’s social media statements, which are protected under free expression.
“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.”
Negy has not been teaching any spring semester classes.
Negy can still respond to UCF’s findings by Jan. 25 before the university makes its decision whether or not to fire him final.