An arbitrator has ruled that the University of Central Florida must reinstate a fired, formerly-tenured professor who lost his job after controversial Tweets he posted in the wake of the George Floyd killing by police officer Derek Chauvin in January 2021.
The arbitrator also ruled the university must give back Dr. Charles Negy, a former associate professor of psychology at UCF, his tenure and back pay for the time missed since his firing.
Negy was terminated in 2021 after he Tweeted comments about racial equality and sparked some debate in the days after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. At the time, Negy wrote, “If Afr. Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?”
In another follow-up Tweet, he wrote, “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.” Both Tweets were later deleted.
He was fired shortly after he posted the comments, though UCF has maintained his firing was not in relation to the Tweets but rather connected to complaints from students and faculty about him creating a hostile work environment.
The university says it does not agree with the ruling but that it will adhere to it nonetheless. “UCF stands by the actions taken following a thorough investigation that found repeated misconduct in Professor Negy’s classroom, including imposing his views about religion, sex and race,” the university said. “However, we are obligated to follow the arbitrator’s ruling.”
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