/Professor Resigns Over Colleague’s Racist Comments

Professor Resigns Over Colleague’s Racist Comments


David Batson, an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University who was party to a recorded discussion where a fellow adjunct professor made disparaging comments about Black students’ academic performance, has resigned.

Georgetown terminated the other professor, Sandra Sellers, who made the comments. "I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks," Sellers said. "Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, oh, come on. You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."

During the exchange on the recorded Zoom call, Batson can be seen nodding along. A letter from Georgetown’s Black Law Students Association about the incident says he subsequently made comments about the role of unconscious bias.

Batson said in his resignation letter that he is “deeply saddened” by the situation. “The sentiments and opinions expressed during the conversation are not mine, and do not characterize my experience with Georgetown students,” he wrote. “During my eight years at Georgetown, I have always evaluated my students as individuals, based on their merit and performance, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender or other factors.”

“When suddenly and unexpectedly faced with such remarks, it is challenging to know how to appropriately respond,” Batson wrote. “In the moment, my heartfelt response was to point the discussion toward what I believe is our personal responsibility — to be aware of and respond to potential unconscious bias in all our undertakings. I understand, however, that I missed the chance to respond in a more direct manner to address the inappropriate content of those remarks. For this, I sincerely apologize.”

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Read more: insidehighered.com

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