A Duke University professor is facing criticism after he refused to attend mandatory diversity training, calling the event a “Maoist political propaganda workshop.”
According to a report by the Duke Chronicle, Bryan Cullen, a professor at the Duke School of Medicine, is under fire after he announced that he would not take part in the training organized by the university’s Office of Institutional Equity.
“My initial reaction is I refuse to engage in left-wing Maoist political propaganda workshops and, as a tenured faculty, that is my choice,” Cullen wrote in the mail chain announcing the training.
Cullen’s comment has drawn the ire of Duke students, with one calling him out for “a history of xenophobic, homophobic and racist behavior.”
Another doctoral student, Gilberto Mercado, wrote that the professor has “expressed reactionary rhetoric for many years now.”
A tenured professor in my department @DukeU replying all to an email about upcoming faculty DE&I training. It should be noted that this individual has expressed reactionary rhetoric for many years now, and is set to retire soon. pic.twitter.com/TuvzFBFTAV
— Gilberto Padilla Mercado (@GilPadillaM) May 24, 2022
“Yet another reminder that despite someone’s contributions to a field, or the money they might bring in to an institution, academic administrators do themselves and future scientists a great disservice by keeping these types of people around for the long haul,” Mercado tweeted.
Professor Cullen is not the first Duke faculty to oppose diversity and equity training. In 2017, Catholic theology professor Paul Griffiths, who resigned from his position the following year, sparked a nationwide debate over political correctness, racism and free speech with a similar response to voluntary racial equity training.