University of California San Diego: Professor Suspended for In-Class Comments About Latino, Chicano Communities


University of California, San Diego

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Case Overview

On October 14, 2022, a recording went viral of UCSD organic chemistry professor Robert Ternansky making in-class comments pertaining to the Latino and Chicano communities. In the video, Ternansky yells grammatically incorrect Spanish at Latino and Chicano custodial workers, asks his class how to say quiet in “Mexican,” and jokingly suggests the custodial workers might have weapons. After calls for the university to take action, UCSD removed Ternansky from teaching the remainder of his fall quarter courses. On October 28, FIRE wrote UCSD urging it to immediately reinstate Ternansky and uphold its constitutional obligation to protect faculty members’ free speech rights.