A tenured professor at Duke University is facing backlash from colleagues after informing the entire Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM) department that he would not attend equity training, according to a report from the Duke Chronicle.
Duke’s Office of Institutional Equity and the MGM department reportedly developed a training module to help “members of our department be fair and welcoming of individuals who differ in their background,” according to leaked emails posted online.
“Per School of Medicine guidelines, all faculty are required to attend a session,” the email continued.
Founding Director of the Center for Virology Bryan Cullen hit the “reply-all” button and told his colleagues he would not attend “left-wing Maoist political propaganda workshops.”
“[A]s a tenured faculty, that is my choice,” Cullen said.
MGM department doctoral candidates lobbed criticisms at the tenured professor. Alan Rosales, a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering, said the professor has a repeated record of “transphobia” and “homophobia.”
“An email was sent out to the MGM department regarding a training module,” Rosales said. “A tenured professor REPLIED ALL … with this disgusting response. I should add that this professor has [a] repeated history of transphobia [and] homophobia.”
An email was sent out to the MGM department regarding a training module (see first picture). A tenured-professor REPLIED ALL (second picture) with this disgusting response. I should add that this professor has repeated history of transphobia & homophobia. @DukeU @DukeChronicle pic.twitter.com/vdXTkNwVx1
— AL (@bshwckplantdad) May 24, 2022
“In the below figure, we see a textbook example of a tenured faculty member whose grasp on human decency is on par with his grasp on the reply-all function,” doctoral candidate Jeffrey Letourneau reportedly responded to the email chain.
Another doctoral candidate, Jonathan Ark, spoke with the Duke Chronicle and complained that Cullen posted jokes that are “typically inappropriate for a prestigious Duke tenured faculty member.” Ark alleged that Cullen posted a comic strip to his bulletin board mocking gender identity.
The comic strip reportedly showed a young person attempting to purchase beer. The young person responded, “I identify as 21! So are you gonna sell me a beer … or are you a hater?”
Ark said that Cullen’s response to the group was “visceral disgust” and said the tenured professor has “a history of xenophobic, homophobic, and racist behavior.” (RELATED: Princeton Fires Tenured Professor Joshua Katz After He Challenged Left-Wing Radicalism)
A similar incident occurred in 2017 when an associate professor invited Duke’s Divinity School to racial equity training. Paul Griffiths, a former professor of Catholic theory, discouraged faculty from attending the training. He dubbed the training “intellectually flaccid,” according to the Duke Chronicle. Griffiths ultimately resigned.
Duke University and Bryan Cullen did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.