Monday, October 3, 2022

NYU Chemistry Professor Fired After Students Said His Class Was Too Hard (Robby Soave)

NYU Chemistry Professor Fired After Students Said His Class Was Too Hard

"Maitland Jones Jr. was a professor of chemistry at Princeton University. In 2007, he semi-retired and began teaching organic chemistry at New York University on an adjunct basis.

Not anymore: NYU has fired Jones after students circulated a petition protesting that his class was too hard."

"They weren't coming to class, that's for sure," said Jones. "They weren't watching the videos, and they weren't able to answer the questions."

"Jones is profiled in a recent New York Times article that chronicles his firing. The piece also raises uncomfortable questions about elite institutions of higher learning and their utter devotion to appeasing unreasonable student demands. Organic chemistry is the bane of medical students everywhere, precisely because it is such a hard class. But many doctors would argue that that's the point: The class is designed to act as an effective gatekeeper, preventing underqualified students from entering the field of medicine."'

"This article made my skin crawl," tweeted Alice Dreger, a bioethicist and former professor of medicine. "We aren't going to end up with good doctors by letting undergrad pre-meds pass organic chem because universities want to protect their US News rankings.'"

His departure is certainly a loss for NYU's academic caliber. After all, Jones is a lion in the field of organic chemistry, publishing 225 papers in his 40-year career. He literally wrote the textbook, "Organic Chemistry," which weighs in at 1,300 pages.

"[Jones] learned to teach during a time when the goal was to teach at a very high and rigorous level," Paramjit Arora, a professor of chemistry at NYU and former colleague of Jones told The Times. "We hope that students will see that putting them through that rigor is doing them good."

"Celebrated organic chemistry professor Maitland Jones Jr. had high standards, and we can't have that in 2022," writes the leftist author and teacher Freddie deBoer. "NYU students—who are, by any rational measure, some of the most privileged people on planet earth—organized a petition and got him fired. I hope you never get treated by one of the doctors who emerges from this mess."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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