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UCF Under Fire Over Professor's Tweets

UCF Welcome Center. Photo Credit: Keone via. Flickr
UCF Welcome Center. Photo Credit: Keone via. Flickr

The University of Central Florida is under pressure as calls grow to fire a professor for tweets that students, alumni and faculty have called racist.  

One recent tweet from psychology professor Charles Negy reads in part, quote “black privilege is real”. 

His Twitter bio says he wrote a book called "White Shaming: Bullying based on Prejudice, Virtue-Signaling, and Ignorance."

At a virtual town hall last night, UCF President Alexander Cartwright condemned Negy’s tweets as “racist and abhorrent.” 

“While we must acknowledge and support the right to free speech, our faculty cannot and must not allow that speech to translate into discrimination in the classroom or on campus," said Cartwright. 

"If we find evidence of this behavior, we will take action.”

UCF Interim Provost Michael Johnson also condemned Negy’s tweets.

“The principle of academic freedom protects the right of faculty members to hold and teach unpopular views, but that does not make what Dr. Negy said on Twitter any less vile. The classroom must be a level playing field for all students.”

Johnson urged current and former students to report any discrimination they’ve experienced so it can be investigated.

In an email to WMFE, Negy said the tweet’s timing might’ve been “poor” and that he wasn’t talking about what he called “the sadistic and tragic murder of George Floyd.” 

“I'm addressing other issues that I think ought to be discussed if we're ever going to make progress on race relations,” said Negy. 

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined Central Florida Public Media in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.