A professor of English at Fordham University was fired for confusing the names of two black students after one arrived to his class late.
Christopher Trogan taught a composition class at Fordham until he was suspended by the New York City Catholic university two days after he accidentally called the student the wrong name.
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The incident occurred on Sept. 24, the Fordham Observer reported, and Trogan says it was because of a moment of confusion that he accidentally mixed up the names of two black students when one of them arrived late to class.
But the students, the Observer reported, believed that he misnamed them because of their race and raised the issue with Trogan, who promptly sent an email to the entire class apologizing for the mix-up.
But two days later, on Sept. 26, Trojan, who did not have tenure at the university, was placed on administrative leave over the incident. And a month later, on Oct. 25, he was fired.
The Fordham Observer quoted a number of students of Trogan’s, including those involved in the name mix-up, who believed the decision to fire him was excessive.
“It seemed a little excessive, like all you needed to do was say sorry and it would have been fine,” the student involved in the name confusion said. “We were not actually that upset about him mixing up our names. It was more so the random things he would throw into the response.”
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The Fordham newspaper reported that Trogan is considering action against the university for its decision but did not elaborate on what that could be. Without tenure protection, he was an at-will employee.