The Committee is the UCLA Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom, here. The Dean is the UCLA Anderson School of Management Dean Antonio Bernardo, here. The faculty member is UCLA lecturer in accounting Gordon Klein, here. The report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education about the events that led to his suspension and now his reinstatement, is here:
UCLA reinstated Gordon Klein. Who will reinstate his reputation?
by Alex Morey October 12, 2020
University of California, Los Angeles faculty member Gordon Klein never imagined a routine email exchange with a student this summer would land him at the center of an explosive national controversy. Accused of racism and abuse of power, and ejected from his classroom, Klein faced termination from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he taught with a spotless record for almost 40 years.
“I was following university policy meticulously in refusing to discriminate,” Klein said of his email response to a white student who requested Klein loosen his grading policies to help black students during nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Klein said he simply followed UCLA’s Faculty Code of Conduct, which prohibits the failure to hold exams as scheduled. It also prohibits evaluating students on criteria other than their course performance and engaging in race-based discrimination.
But Klein’s message, which challenged the student to critically consider the implications of his request by suggesting a series of hypotheticals highlighting the problems with race-based grading criteria, was misunderstood. Soon, a screenshot of the email was all over social media. Klein’s dean swiftly denounced the message publicly as “outrageous” and an “abuse of power,” and UCLA put Klein on leave, indicating punishment would follow. A petition for the professor’s ouster garnered 20,000 signatures.
Soon however, a dueling petition for Klein’s reinstatement garnered more than 75,000 signatures. And after FIRE intervened — publicizing the case and reminding UCLA of its constitutional academic freedom obligations — the university dropped the case in July, admitting it did not even merit an investigation. …