Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) “replaced” a professor who failed a student for identifying Australia as a country, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned Friday.
The unnamed professor flunked Ashley Arnold, a student completing an online degree in sociology at SNHU, alleging that Australia was a continent, not a country, reported BuzzFeed News.
“At first, I thought it was a joke,” Arnold told BuzzFeed. “This can’t be real. Then, as I continued to read, I realized she was for real.”
The assignment asked students to compare a social norm as it manifests in America and another country. Arnold picked social media usage for her social norm and Australia as her country.
“With her education levels, her expertise, who wouldn’t know Australia is a country?” Arnold inquired about the professor, who boasts a Ph.D. in philosophy. “If she’s hesitating or questioning that, why wouldn’t she just Google that herself?”
Arnold appealed her grade, but the professor insisted, “Australia is a continent; not a country,” saying “research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall.”
The professor eventually assigned Arnold a new grade of “B+,” did not apologize, but reference a “misunderstanding about the difference between Australia as a country and a continent.”
Arnold asked BuzzFeed to leave the professor’s name out of their report to prevent backlash.
“We deeply regret the interaction between our professor and our student and have apologized to the student and refunded her for the class,” said SNHU spokeswoman Lauren Keane to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Following an investigation, we have replaced the instructor as we strive to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in educating our students. To our friends and colleagues in Australia, we know that you are a country and a continent, best of luck in the Olympic games!”
SNHU previously attracted the wrath of Media Matters in November for sponsoring Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. (RELATED: Media Matters Using Roy Moore Allegations To Go After Hannity’s Advertisers)
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