A Fordham University professor was dismissed on Oct. 29 after confusing two black students in his lecture and sending a lengthy email explaining the issue.
Instructor Christopher Trogan, 46, blamed his “confused brain” when two students were late to class on Sep. 24, as he was reading a classmate’s work.
“The offended student assumed my mistake was because I confused that student with another Black student,” Trogan stated on Nov. 29, as the Fordham Observer reported. “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.”
Trogan delivered a nine-page email to students in his classes clarifying his error just hours after making what he called an “innocent mistake.”
He said any pupils offended by the incident could contact the school.
“Depending on your response to the officials above, I may—or may not—be your professor in class next week. It’s all up to you,” said Trogan.
According to the Fordham Observer newspaper, he has spent his “entire life” focusing on “issues of justice, equality, and inclusion.”
Some students believed that Trogan’s unusual behavior made his problems worse. The case would have been better if he had made a simple apology.
According to one of the two black students, freshman Chantal Sims, the email was “a little excessive.”
“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.” Sims said.
According to the New York Post, Fordham spokesman Bob Howe reported that the school “takes personnel matters very seriously,” but added, “media representations regarding this issue do not reflect the facts in Dr. Trogan’s case.” He did not go into details.