A professor fired by the University of Central Florida following posts he made to Twitter has been given his job back along with back pay following a ruling by an arbitrator.
Associate Professor of Psychology Charles Negy was dismissed from his position at the university following a “furor” surrounding remarks he made on his personal social media account, The Blaze reported.
Negy commented on a video clip of Dave Rubin interviewing Larry Elder, who blaseted the dogma of systemic racism.
Negy tweeted in June 2020, “Sincere question: 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?”
Sincere question: 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?
— Charles Negy (@CharlesNegy) June 3, 2020
He then posted another tweet – which has since been deleted – that said: “Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege.”
After the posts, Negy reportedly began taking flak from both students and fellow faculty at the university for simply expressing sincerely held personal opinions.
As is usually the case, leftist groups on campus organized protests and a Change.org petition garnered nearly 35,000 signatures calling for the university to fire Negy — again, for the ‘crime’ of expressing his opinion.
#UCFireHim | UCF President Alexander Cartwright, interim Provost Michael Johnson and interim Chief Diversity officer Kent Butler talk about #CharlesNegy with students during the protest organized by @theyoungba at UCF on Sunday.
— UCF Knight News (@UCFKnightNews) June 15, 2020
The Blaze added:
In January 2021, Negy was fired from the University of Central Florida. The university also claimed that his termination had nothing to do with his tweets but rather because of student complaints that he allegedly created a hostile learning environment. The school claimed that Negy was partly fired because of an alleged instance in February 2014 when he reportedly “failed to report that a student disclosed that she had been sexually assaulted by one of your teaching assistants.”
But, an arbitrator has since reversed the university’s decision to dismiss Nagy and has ordered the school to not only give him his job back, but also pay him the salary he lost after he was let go.
“At some point in 2020 a furor erupts over tweets from his twitter account, activity not related to his duties and also is protected free speech,” arbitrator Ben Falcigno wrote in his Arbitration Award opinion on May 16.
“There ensues a campaign by UCF to find out more about Dr. Negy’s classroom performance as related by his students. UCF reaches out to previous students, gets a number of responses and determines that serious misconduct has been occurring for years, lamenting that no system for detecting such misconduct existed to alert management to such disrepute. And, the misconduct is of such magnitude that the only course of action is immediate termination,” the opinion continued.
Negy told WOFL, “I want to go back. I want to make a stand for free speech, academic freedom. They fired a tenured professor… me. They cut me off from my income right away which they cannot do, unless there is some justified reason.”
“The purpose of a university is not to make people feel comfortable,” he added. “This is not a church. This is not a social gathering. The purpose of a university is to make you uncomfortable and make you to think about things.”
Negy also told Legal Insurrection, “The fact that a university would pursue a pretextual investigation with a foregone conclusion to fire a tenured professor because the professor does not conform to ‘diversity/equity/inclusion’ (DEI) ideology is — pretty disgusting in my opinion. University of Central Florida (UCF) investigated my entire 22-year career with them in search of something–anything–that they believed they could use to justify their firing of me.”
Negy also said that he will likely file a lawsuit against UCF in the near future.
“UCF Administrators (and all university administrators) need to get the message that they cannot simply ‘purge’ or even discipline professors who do not conform to the DEI ideology that they are imposing on entire university campuses,” he said, adding that he wants to start teaching again in the fall.