Rutgers Professor Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts
By Jacob Miller
Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas has released a formal apology to the student body. It was published in the February 15th issue of The Daily Targum.
The now tenured Professor, who has been a faculty member of the Department of Food Science since 1998, was responding to the outrage that followed from the anti-Semitic Facebook posts he had made earlier this year:
To the Rutgers Community:
I sincerely, without reservation, apologize to my colleagues and the entire Rutgers community for the offensive items I shared on my personal Facebook account. My conduct was irresponsible, insensitive and inexcusable. I genuinely feel remorse for what I did.
With all my heart, I disavow anti-Semitism as well as any other form of racism or bigotry.
This incident does not reflect how I have conducted my professional career. I accept the fact that my conduct disrupted the fine reputation of Rutgers University. In recognition of the negative consequences of my actions, I have agreed to undertake anti-bias and cultural sensitivity training.
I ask for forgiveness and the opportunity to correct the wrongs I have participated in. I realize it will take time and significant effort for me to regain the trust of the Rutgers community. However, I earnestly believe in my ability to achieve this goal through hard work and with the help of our community.
While he seems to have admitted defeat, Chikindas has -- in the past -- defended himself against claims of anti-Semitism by noting that he used to be married to a Jewish woman, and that he has some Jewish ancestry of his own.
Due to his tenure, and other pressing free speech concerns, Rutgers President Robert Barchi was unable to fire Chikindas altogether. However, he did take certain disciplinary actions against him; this included stripping him of his status as director for Center for Digestive Health, and preventing him from teaching required courses.
Ultimately, most can probably agree: The aforementioned "sensitivity training" that Chikindas will undergo will be traumatizing enough to make him rethink his rogue Facebook behaviors.