Tenured King's Point Professor faces dismissal after inappropriate "joke"

In areport by the NY Times, Prof. Gregory Sullivan faces dismissal after tasteless joke about the Aurora shootings in front of the son of one of the victims.

After turning down the lights in his classroom at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Prof. Gregory F. Sullivan began showing a documentary and prepared to step out for a moment.

But first, according to an internal personnel document, he paused to make a parting joke: “If someone with orange hair appears in the corner of the room,” he is said to have remarked to his students, “run for the exit.”

Prof. Sullivan has 10 days to appeal his dismissal notice which was given to him on 10 August by Dean Shashi Kumar.

I thought it was almost impossible to fire a federal employee for anything. This very minor incident sounds like it deserves more like a one week suspension without pay, not firing. Probably KP has been looking for an excuse to fire this guy for a long time and now they figure this is as good a chance as they are going to get.

If the politically correct and over sensitive kiddies at KP cannot buck up and shrug off a comment like that, how would they ever be able to handle the type of comments that they are going to hear everyday on ships?

Some sort of financial penalty, and a written apology to the offended party should surely suffice.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;78788]If the politically correct and over sensitive kiddies at KP cannot buck up and shrug off a comment like that, how would they ever be able to handle the type of comments that they are going to hear everyday on ships?[/QUOTE] or gCaptain!

The guy teaches a Humanities class. Wow!

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;78887]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189617/Long-Island-professor-suspended-joking-Colorado-shooting-class-student-father-died-tragedy.html

The guy teaches a Humanities class. Wow![/QUOTE]

So what!
Is he a good teacher?

“If someone with orange hair appears in the corner of the room,” he is said to have remarked to his students, “run for the exit.”

Is that even a joke? It’s more like a statement. [I]And a true on at that.[/I]

I don’t know if calling them “over sensitive kiddies” is quite appropriate here. You do know that one of the students sitting in that class had his father killed by the “orange haired” gunman? The students father and 2 younger siblings were there and the father was killed shielding the kids. If that student was not there perhaps the punishment would be excessive but to say that in front of someone who just lost his father to the “orange haired gunman” is a bit much.

[QUOTE=Mikey;78901]Is that even a joke? It’s more like a statement. And a true on at that.[/QUOTE]

I agree, Mikey.

In all my sailing years in the Merchant Marine if the “jokes” made about me, and just about every crew member on the ship, caused this kind of snit the ship would never sail. Is KP’s reaction to this is an indication of how totally out of touch the folks who run the show at KP actually are? Us old time graduates of Kings Point well recall an instructor we called Salty O’Hara. He would cuss at us Cadets, make crude remarks about our mothers and sisters but we learned everything he was teaching. KP never had a problem with likes of Salty, these days he wouldn’t last a week. Oh, BTW, KP’s O’Hara Hall is not named after Salty O’Hara however Salty did sail in the North Atlantic during WWII, experienced many U-Boat attacks, survived several ships that sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic.

Question: How many of KP instructors have Merchant Marine sailing time?

Now a days you have to have a group hug and talk about your feelings. My earlier comment was meant wow they will get mileage out of him being a professor of humanities and made that comment. Until I saw that the kid was interviewed on TV I didn’t realize it was that serious. With the way the PC crowd piles on people now a days he doesn’t stand a chance. Instead of the Dean manning up and saying we will handle this in house he hung him out to dry. The Dean sounds like a real classy fellow too. At most this guy should have had to apologize to the kid with maybe a disciplinary note in his file.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;78922]Now a days you have to have a group hug and talk about your feelings. My earlier comment was meant wow they will get mileage out of him being a professor of humanities and made that comment. Until I saw that the kid was interviewed on TV I didn’t realize it was that serious. With the way the PC crowd piles on people now a days he doesn’t stand a chance. Instead of the Dean manning up and saying we will handle this in house he hung him out to dry. The Dean sounds like a real classy fellow too. At most this guy should have had to apologize to the kid with maybe a disciplinary note in his file.[/QUOTE]

Excellent post Fragrat, these days we do not have people of much guts running anything or so it seems. When an event such as this happens everybody runs and hides or is in the circle of pointing fingers. I like your comment about a need to apologize and a bad boy note placed in his official jacket. THAT should be it yet why do I know it will not. “A group hug and talk about your feelings” - Oh my, my my, what does a steering committee say about that? I can hear them now, “that’s just the way it is.”

If it ever gets to the point where I feel that I am in need of a group hug to discuss my feelings…WILL ONE OF YOU PLEASE SHOOT ME IN THE BACK OF THE EFFING HEAD IMMEDIATLY!!!

I have no further use of being on this planet.

[QUOTE=ChiefRob;78929]If it ever gets to the point where I feel that I am in need of a group hug to discuss my feelings…WILL ONE OF YOU PLEASE SHOOT ME IN THE BACK OF THE EFFING HEAD IMMEDIATLY!!!

I have no further use of being on this planet.[/QUOTE]

Naa - Chief - you’re safe. Yea, you are working in this nonsensical new thing - but you’re way passed it, you can see it before it hits, like c.captain, and yes, me, you are a Merchant Seaman and dam proud of your work.
Had to edit, there’s a lot more than c.captain and me, there’s a bunch of us, US Merchant Seaman and dam good at it too.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;78887]http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189617/Long-Island-professor-suspended-joking-Colorado-shooting-class-student-father-died-tragedy.html

The guy teaches a Humanities class. Wow![/QUOTE]

I’m wondering if some here read the link? If it is true - it puts an entirely different spin on it.

Now if the professor personally and sincerely apologized to the student in the class whose father died in Aurora after being shot by the guy with orange hair — and the student accepted that apology - it seems most here would feel that should have been the end of it. Give it a look.

[QUOTE=+A465B;78934]I’m wondering if some here read the link? If it is true - it puts an entirely different spin on it.

Now if the professor personally and sincerely apologized to the student in the class whose father died in Aurora after being shot by the guy with orange hair — and the student accepted that apology - it seems most here would feel that should have been the end of it. Give it a look.[/QUOTE]

Good post …
I feel it’s over for the professor, this Army man (WTF is an Army man doing at Kings Point !!) has made his stand and like Custer will not change.

Very bad situation for the student. Sincerest sympathy is in order for the loss of his Dad in the tragedy.

Very bad timing for the professor who obviously didn’t know the kids’ father was killed.

He did know, the story reads that the student had left school to attend the funeral. Sympathy for the student, but the whole thing is a “tempest in a teapot”.

[QUOTE=Jeffrox;78943]He did know, the story reads that the student had left school to attend the funeral. Sympathy for the student, but the whole thing is a “tempest in a teapot”.[/QUOTE]

So it would seem.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;78788]I thought it was almost impossible to fire a federal employee for anything. This very minor incident sounds like it deserves more like a one week suspension without pay, not firing. Probably KP has been looking for an excuse to fire this guy for a long time and now they figure this is as good a chance as they are going to get.

If the politically correct and over sensitive kiddies at KP cannot buck up and shrug off a comment like that, how would they ever be able to handle the type of comments that they are going to hear everyday on ships?[/QUOTE]

It is no more impossible to fire a federal employee than it is to fire a private corporate employee. You just have to have a documented reason showing a violation of established policy, you can’t fire someone just because you’re in a bad mood that day.
In this case it appears that KP is either acting like a moronic organization OR we aren’t getting all the facts in the matter.

Really guys?

Kids father is killed in a violent mass shooting

Professor knows this due to student’s absence from class

Professor then makes a joke about that shooting in the student’s presence.

I’m all for dark humor, hell its how most of us put up with the any of the idiot clients our vessels have worked for, but even this is in bad taste for me. While I think due to the student accepting his apology immediate dismissal is a bit harsh, but seeing nothing wrong with it is just being a big tough Internet sailor.