Earlier today, a student posted a video of of UC San Diego Organic Chemistry Lecturer Robert Ternansky uttering bigoted sentiments toward what appeared to be Latino workers or students. Ternansky is a lecturer in the chemistry department, where he currently teaches Chemistry 41A and 143C.
In the video, which is a recording of the class’s podcast, Professor Ternansky is heard saying, “how do you say quiet in Mexican? Callaite?” He then adds, “someone tell me if they start running in here with weapons” referring to those at the receiving end of his comments.
As of Oct. 14, the video has amassed nearly 2,000 reactions and 500 comments, with many urging Chancellor Khosla and the UCSD administration to take action. The student who posted the video, Alfonso Lazo-Cazarez, himself disclosed his anger, admonishing the lecturer for espousing “unfortunate and sad” rhetoric while diminishing the value of workers who ensure that the “university is functioning.”
It is unclear what disciplinary measures will be taken. Student leaders, however, have made statements of their own. For example, A.S. President Sky Yang commented under the video post, “Need to look into this!”, while the A.S. Office of Academic Affairs vowed to fight for proper consequences being brought against the lecturer, demanding that administrators remove the professor.
“We will not let this get swept under the rug as in previous years,” they stated in an Instagram post.
As Ternansky is not tenured and works primarily as a lecturer, repercussions may be harsher than they would be for tenured professors.
As of 5 p.m. on Oct. 14, the lecturer has released a terse 50-word apology on his course Canvas page, promising to publish a lengthier one in the near future. The university has yet to respond.
The UCSD Guardian will continue to update this story as it progresses.