After a white professor demanded an apology from his college's faculty senate for "racist sentiments" in its recent resolution that "contribute to a hostile work environment" — including discrimination against him — a former student launched a petition to fire the professor, the New York Post reported.
What are the details?
Jeffrey Burl used Michigan Technological University letterhead for his message to the school's senate: "I find this resolution particularly offensive because I, as a white male, have been systematically discriminated against for 40 years," the Post reported.
The senate's resolution said it "explicitly and loudly denounces white supremacy, anti-blackness, systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, and other oppressive and intolerant behaviors, actions, and speech" — and that "no student should be able to earn an undergraduate degree ... without having had a sound education concerning the historical and current manifestations and operations of anti-Blackness and systemic racism in American culture," the paper said.
However, Burl — an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering — countered that during his 28 years at the university in Houghton he saw no "discrimination against women and people of color" while the college "actively discriminated against white males," the paper added.
Burl noted that "simple statistical analysis will demonstrate that Michigan Tech's hiring practices are biased against white males" and that he'd been "denied an opportunity to compete for my dream job because of gender discrimination," the paper also said.
In addition, a second Michigan Tech professor, Jaroslaw Drelich, submitted a letter of complaint saying the faculty resolution pushes a leftist narrative, the paper said, citing MLive.
The Post said Burl's letter was widely circulated among students, and then former student student Timothy Ward launched a petition demanding Burl's termination for his "ignorance and hate," the paper said.
The petition said Burl's "letter was full of racist views and ignorant statements that would make many if not most prospective students uncomfortable in his classroom. I felt gross just trying to read it. I can only imagine how his students will feel going forward having to sit in lectures for hours with him."
As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition reached just over 1,550 signatures — about 1,000 shy of its 2,500-signature goal.
University President Richard Koubek told students in a statement that didn't mention Burl by name that the college condemns racism, the paper said, citing MLive.
Burl said he's no racist or white supremacist, the paper said, citing the outlet: "I would argue that I have a squeaky-clean reputation in that I don't think that anybody who knows me will think that I'm a racist."