NYU Professor Warns ‘Woke’ Colleges ‘Not to Coddle Students’ – ‘Apply a Little Tough Love’ Instead

A New York University chemistry professor, who was fired from his job after students complained his class was too hard, is warning woke colleges against “coddling students,” saying they need to “apply a little tough love” instead.

Maitland Jones Jr., 84 was fired from the university after a petition from students.

“We are very concerned about our scores, and find that they are not an accurate reflection of the time and effort put into this class,” the petition said.

“We urge you to realize that a class with such a high percentage of withdrawals and low grades has failed to make students’ learning and well-being a priority and reflects poorly on the chemistry department as well as the institution as a whole,” the petition states.

Jones said earlier:

“They weren’t coming to class, that’s for sure, because I can count the house.

“They weren’t watching the videos, and they weren’t able to answer the questions.”

In an op-ed for the Boston Globe on Thursday, Jones dropped the hammer:

“Critically, the growing number of administrators, major and minor, who are often without any expertise in a given subject matter, need to learn to stand back from purely academic matters and to support the faculty.

“Deans must learn to not coddle students for the sake of tuition and apply a little tough love.

“They must join the community in times of conflict to generate those teachable moments.

“Even before COVID-19 disrupted classrooms, there were signs of trouble.

“I came to New York University in 2007 after 43 years of teaching and research at Princeton, where I had both tenure and an endowed chair.

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“I wanted to see if the technique I had introduced at Princeton, in which the talking-head lecture was deemphasized in favor of small-group problem solving, was transferable to another university.

“All went well at first as students prospered in the problem-solving setting and younger faculty began to adopt it.

“But about 10 years ago, I noticed that students were increasingly misreading exam questions.

“Exams that should have yielded a B average dropped to C- or worse.

New York“Single-digit scores became common and we even had zeros on exams, something that had never happened before.

“In his opinion piece, Malesic speculates on causes (screen time, COVID-induced remote “learning”) and suggests that we do no one a favor by continuing to dumb down our courses.

“I completely agree, although I must admit that I was guilty of some grade inflation.”

Jones added that he wasn’t just “unjustly treated,” but that his “reputation as a chemist and educator has not been seriously damaged.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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