Has a worker ever wounded you so shamefully, they should’ve been fired?
Such a thing looks to have occurred in September at Fordham University.
Professor Christopher Trogan committed an oral offense.
As the story goes, he called some folks the wrong name.
Per his written explanation sent to the entire Composition II class, the man was distracted and accidentally erred.
While “reading the work of another student,” he recalled, two female students walked in late.
In a “confused” moment, he mismatched the pair’s monikers.
But the duo was less than laughing.
They issued him a written complaint.
Fordham paper The Observer reports:
[The two] sent [Christopher] an email after class expressing that they felt disheartened and disrespected…
The instructor insisted it was an “innocent mistake.”
But as it happens, Christopher is white.
The same can’t be said of those he harmed.
He referenced that fact in his response:
“I have done my best to validate and reassure the offended student that I made a simple, human, error. It has nothing to do with race.”
They don’t see it that way. According to The Observer, the ladies suspect “the mistake occurred because they were both Black.”
And Christopher was already on thin ice with one of them.
Call him a repeat offender:
One of the first-year students who was involved in the…incident said their experience in Trogan’s class prior to the incident was not great. The student, who asked to remain anonymous due to privacy concerns, told The Observer that Trogan repeatedly got their name incorrect over the course of four classes.
“I felt really disrespected. I did not feel heard because every time he [misnamed me] I would tell him, and it just seemed like he would brush it off or that he did not care,” she told the outlet.
The other girl — Chantel Sims — downplayed the initial disaster:
“[What he penned] seemed a little excessive, like all you needed to do was say sorry and it would have been fine. 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.”
In his email, Christopher said he was willing to step down if the students felt discriminated against.
Trogan encouraged students to relay any complaints to Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) Laura Auricchio, English Department Chair Mary Bly and other administrators.
“Depending on your response to the officials above,” he wrote, “I may — or may not — be your professor in class next week. It’s all up to you.”
Well, the teacher got torpedoed.
Two days after the name swap, “he was placed on immediate suspension with pay and benefits and that his actions were under investigation by the university. [Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Eva Badowska] gave him an order to not contact any Fordham student or he would face immediate termination. Part of the suspension included barring his access to Fordham’s electronic systems — including email.”
The end came October 25th.
And now, he claims, his physical and psychological health have suffered.
The termination was effective immediately and cut off Trogan’s salary, health benefits, life insurance and retirement fund.
“I was never informed of the charges against me, nor of the nature of the investigation of which I was the subject,” he claimed in a nine-page October 29th letter to all 80 of his former students. “I was kept completely in the dark.”
The official letter of termination asserted he hadn’t demonstrated “proper development.”
Who’d have thought a guy like Christopher could’ve gotten canned?
It appears he’d tried extremely hard to be hip.
He’d even stuck to the strict and appropriate academic aim of English education:
In the email to students, Trogan assured students the course was “centered specifically and explicitly around issues of justice, equality, and inclusion,” and that he has devoted his “entire life” to these issues — describing his dedication to racial justice throughout his career in depth.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough.
Sims said the section of the email that listed his credentials and “everything he has done for minorities” gave her the impression of a white savior complex. The other first-year student interviewed by The Observer agreed with this assessment.
“The eight semesters I had taught as an adjunct were erased,” he lamented.
Still, he’s hoping for that English Composition element that matters most — justice:
Trogan told The Observer that he believes he should be paid his remaining salary for the academic year, and that his benefits should be immediately reinstated to rectify his termination. He also demanded that the Office of Human Resources expunge the incident from his record and stated Badowska should take questions openly from the Fordham community on his termination.
“If any student would like to help me achieve some justice now that my name is mud and my reputation has been ruined, they could insist that Badowska carry out the above three actions at a bare minimum,” Trogan said.
Perhaps he’ll find vindication.
Then again, maybe not: Tragically, the teacher may have become so woke, he inadvertently catapulted himself to the top of our social hierarchy.
He announced he’d step down, but he was given no points for mere symbolic sacrifice.
So goes the mystery of life, but at least he achieved that greatest contemporary accomplishment: victimhood.
He reached for the stars and lassoed the moon.
And now his career has been eclipsed.
Yet, The Observer notes, “questions still remain” regarding his discharge.
Hopefully, in the end, “racial justice” will have been served.
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