Fire UCLA Professor Gordon Klein
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UCLA Anderson School of Management Professor Gordon Klein recently sent an email to one of his students concerning making accommodations in light of recent events in Minneapolis. He mocks the student for asking that he "give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota." Klein's email reads as follows.
Thanks for your suggestion in your email below that I give black students special treatment, given the tragedy in Minnesota. Do you know the names of the classmates that are black? How can I identify them since we've been having online classes only? Are there any students that may be of mixed parentage, such as half black-half Asian? What do you suggest I do with respect to them? A full concession or just half? Also, do you have any idea if any students are from Minneapolis? I assume that they probably are especially devastated as well. I am thinking that a white student from there might be possibly even more devastated by this, especially because some might think that they're racist even if they are not. My TA is from Minneapolis, so if you don't know, I can probably ask her. Can you guide me on how you think I should achieve a "no-harm" outcome since our sole course grade is from a final exam only? One last thing strikes me: Remember that MLK famously said that people should not be evaluated based on the "color of their skin." Do you think that your request would run afoul of MLK's admonition? Thanks, G. Klein
We ask for your support in having Professor Klein’s professorship terminated for his extremely insensitive, dismissive, and woefully racist response to his students’ request for empathy and compassion during a time of civil unrest.
Given his background in ethics and liability, one would expect Professor Klein to hold himself to a higher social standard, especially given his position as a steward within higher education. However, his response to students was inappropriate, tone-deaf, and highly insensitive. The killing of George Floyd displayed a brutality that was so casual and so cruel, it reflected an utter dehumanization of Black life. It is understandable, then, that students nationwide - especially Black students - are struggling to focus on their educations when there is massive sociopolitical unrest that concerns both them and the future of their plight in this country.
Professor Klein’s blatant lack of empathy and unwillingness to accommodate his students during a time of protests speaks to his apathetic stance on the matter. His suggestion that a student with one black and one asian parent should only be accommodated half as much as a black student is a preposterously racist notion. Furthermore, his claim that a white student from Minneapolis "might possibly be even more devastated […] because some might think that they're racist" puts into perspective his ignorance, his bias, and his gross inability to comprehend the gravity of the systematic violence, discrimination, and fear experienced by Black people in this country.
His behavior is not reflective of the equity, respect, and justice that UCLA stands for as an institution. As Professor Klein so emphatically states on his profile page on the Anderson School of Management website: “Learning accounting or any quantitative discipline, without a concomitant emphasis on ethical behavior, is not a true education”. We ask for your support now in holding Professor Klein to the same ethical standards he claims to be essential to a holistic and inclusive educational experience, which is what he owes to his students as an educational leader. We, the students, refuse to support Gordon Klein any further and demand to see his employment terminated as soon as possible. Please consider signing this petition, sharing it, and providing any feedback possible.
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