Earlier this month, FIRE reported that Bellevue Community College (BCC) decided to suspend Professor Peter Ratener for a week without pay for his now infamous math question featuring Condoleezza and a watermelon. BCC has still not reversed this decision, which is set for arbitration.
While BCC’s overreaction to Ratener’s question has outraged fans of free speech and fundamental fairness, it has pleased others. The organization Minority Access, Inc., a group dedicated to “implementing programs to improve the higher educational, professional and managerial employment of minorities,” has dubbed BCC one of the “Nation's Leading Colleges and Universities Committed to Diversity.” BCC issued a press release on Monday, evidently rather proud of its new appellation.
Sadly, one can’t help but think that BCC’s decision to hang Ratener out to dry—and to sacrifice justice, forgiveness, and fundamental fairness—contributed to its distinction as a leader in diversity.