Georgetown Law Professor Terminated Over Racist Remarks
Georgetown Law has terminated a professor who made “abhorrent” and racist remarks about Black students.
Sandra A. Sellers, an adjunct professor, had a conversation with another adjunct professor, David Batson, in which she discussed student performance with racist remarks towards Black students. Sellers has since been terminated by the university, with Batson resigning.
“I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks,” Sellers says in the recorded Zoom call. “Happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You get some really good ones, but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.”
DEAN SAYS VIDEO CONTENT IS “ABHORRENT”
In response to the video being published, Georgetown Law Dean Bill Treanor released a statement on March 10th to the community in which he says, “I have watched a video of this conversation and find the content to be abhorrent. It includes conduct that has no place in our educational community. We must ensure that all students are treated fairly and evaluated on their merits.”
A day later, Dean Treanor released another statement stating that he was terminating Professor Sellers’ relationship with Georgetown Law, effective immediately. Additionally, he stated that Professor Batson had been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Institutional Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action.
“We are taking significant steps to ensure that all students in this class are fairly graded without the input of Professor Sellers or Professor Batson,” Dean Treanor says in the statement. “This is by no means the end of our work to address the many structural issues of racism reflected in this painful incident, including explicit and implicit bias, bystander responsibility, and the need for more comprehensive anti-bias training. This is a matter of great concern to me.”
SELLERS SAYS SHE IS “DEEPLY SORRY”
In a shared copy of her resignation letter with The New York Times, Sellers stated, that she was “deeply sorry for my hurtful and misdirected remarks.”
“I would never do anything to intentionally hurt my students or Georgetown Law and wish I could take back my words,” Sellers writes. “Regardless of my intent, I have done irreparable harm and I am truly sorry for this.”