A Ferris State University professor “Barry Mehler” is under investigation over a profanity-filled introductory video that he circulated amongst 120 students. Barry Mehler, 74, is a history professor and is the founder and director of the Ferris Institute for the Study of Academic Racism and teaches the history of science and the interface between science and racism. Shortly after the incident, the professor has been asked to take leave by Randy Cagle, the dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education.
Barry Mehler is seen calling the students ‘cocksuckers’ during his video which was an introduction to his winter semester course. He says that the student’s grade for the semester shall be predetermined by a particular Christian doctrine. The video was posted on Youtube on January 9th.
Barry Mehler’s retirement is due this year and he expresses that he could not give a flying fuck any longer. This bizarre rant has received more than 55000 viewings and has soared to over 245,000 viewings yesterday and has also received national coverage on media.
Ferris State has recently shifted to remote learning due to the growing pandemic situation. Various students have expressed their concern against the professor’s unethical behavior.
The University’s President was appalled by the video and calls it profane and disturbing. The video does not align with the university’s ethos and core values. The professor states that he is awaiting true academic freedom amidst this injustice and is seen to fight for freedom of expression.
The professor justifies the offensive video by saying that it was scripted and the soliloquies are alike a movie or theatre production. He says that the video matches the way actors express their internal monologues even if it’s obscene but the audience knows that it is merely a performance.
The professor has been teaching students for over a decade and has served the university for more than 30 years. He has been granted promotions based on his meritorious teaching methods and was also nominated for a distinguished teaching award.
The professor says that he has received criticism for making statements about the university administration and not for using profane language. He expresses that the reactions he has evoked are because he has struck a nerve with his audience.
He goes on to provide his email address to seek the support of his students which he direly needs to defend his case. The question in place is if it is justified for a professor to use his freedom of expression or abide by the norms of society.
The professor turns 75 soon and shall retire by December 2021.
WATCH Barry Mehler’s original introductory video BELOW!
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