American university instructor loses his job for saying ‘Chinese virus’

John Ucker, an adjunct instructor in the University of Cincinnati’s Engineering and Applied Sciences Department, was put on administrative leave after his student Evan Sotzing posted an email he received from Ucker on social media.

In the email, Sotzing said he would have to miss in-person classes for two weeks due to suspected COVID-19 exposure.

Ucker responded, “For students testing positive for the Chinese virus, I will give no grade.”

Sotzing posted a screenshot of the email on Twitter, which received nearly 200,000 interactions.

Shortly afterward, the university launched a detailed investigation. Ucker was on administrative leave with pay amid the investigation.

The university’s spokesperson said the educational institution did not extend a contract with the professor accused of discriminative language and xenophobic stigmatizations.

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