A Florida university must rehire a white professor who made tweets about "Black privilege" following the murder of George Floyd, an arbitrator ruled.
The University of Central Florida did not show "just cause" for terminating professor Charles Negy in January 2021 after he posted widely-condemned tweets in the wake of Floyd's murder in Minneapolis at the hands of police. Negy is the author of a book titled, White Shaming: Bullying Based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling, and Ignorance.
According to The New York Times, the University said it will not challenge the ruling, which requires Negy to be rehired with tenure, pay, and other benefits. The University said it would work with Negy "on the details of his work assignment for the fall term."
"UCF stands by the actions taken following a thorough investigation that found repeated misconduct in Professor Negy's classroom, including imposing his views on religion, sex and race," the University said in a statement. "However, we are obligated to follow the arbitrator's ruling."
The University began investigating Negy in June 2020 after the 22-year professor veteran tweeted that "Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and others set aside, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they're missing out on much needed feedback."
At the time, UCF President Alexander Cartwright and other leaders said they were "disgusted by the racist posts."
"If any student, current or former, believes they may have experienced abusive or discriminatory behavior by any faculty or staff member, we want to know about it," they wrote in a statement at the time.
The University terminated Negy in January 2021 –– but not for the tweets, which they said were protected by the First Amendment. The University said Negy lost his job for breaking school policies on more than one occasion and that he had "created a hostile learning environment" through "discriminatory harassment."