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U. Cincinnati Doesn’t Renew Contract of Prof Who Said ‘Chinese Virus’

U. Cincinnati Doesn’t Renew Contract of Prof Who Said ‘Chinese Virus’

“These types of xenophobic comments and stigmatizations around location or ethnicity are more than troubling”

This actually sparked an investigation, if you can believe it.

Campus Reform reports:

University of Cincinnati parts ways with professor who said ‘Chinese Virus’

The University of Cincinnati declined to renew the contract of an adjunct professor who said “Chinese virus” to describe COVID-19, Campus Reform has learned.

The university’s decision to part ways with John Ucker, who formerly taught at its College of Engineering and Applied Science, follows an incident that made him the center of a national controversy and investigation of allegations of racial harassment.

As Campus Reform reported in September, John Ucker’s journey to the hall of canceled professors began in September 2020, when his student, Evan Sotzing, emailed him to give prior notice of his possible exposure to COVID-19 and absence at an upcoming in-person lab. Sotzing was reportedly quarantined and barred from attending class in person for two weeks.

Responding to Sotzing’s email, Ucker wrote, “For students testing positive for the Chinese [sic] virus, I will give no grade.”

Speaking to a local reporter, Sotzing said Ucker’s response was highly offensive.

His “language is completely unacceptable,” he said, “And especially from people, like, in power…it has no place in this country and it contributes to Asian xenophobia.”

Sotzing shared the email on Twitter, attracting 200,000 engagements, according to one report. Ucker was swiftly reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, which investigates claims of discrimination and harassment, and denounced by the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“These types of xenophobic comments and stigmatizations around location or ethnicity are more than troubling,” said Dean of Engineering and Applied Science John Weidner in September 2020, “We can better protect and care for all when we speak about COVID-19 with both accuracy and empathy –something we should all strive for.”

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