A law professor at the University of Pennsylvania reportedly lost her teaching role at the prestigious university after she candidly stated that black students “rarely” graduate at the top of their classes or earn high grade marks, the New York Daily News reports.
Ted Ruger, the law school dean, released a statement on Tuesday (Mar. 13), denouncing Prof. Amy Wax for speaking “disparagingly and inaccurately” about black students. “Black students have graduated in the top of the class at Penn Law,” Ruger said in a statement Penn’s student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. “And contrary to any suggestion otherwise, black students at Penn Law are extremely successful, both inside and outside of the classroom, the job market, and in their careers.” Ruger also revealed that Wax violated school policy by citing students’ grades.
Wax’s controversial statements stem from a panel discussion she participated in back in Sept. 2017. Speaking to Brown University professor, Glenn Loury, Wax said: “Here’s a very inconvenient fact, Glenn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half,” she said.“I can think of one or two students who scored in the top half of my required first-year course.”
Wax initially sparked outrage amongst students and faculty following her comments. Alumni reportedly launched a petition demanding that action be taken against the professor. They claimed her comments were “in clear violation of the terms and spirit of Penn Law’s anonymous grading policy, compromise the law school’s assurance that grades are maintained by the registrar under strict scrutiny.” More than 30 Penn Law professors also signed an open letter condemning her racially-charged statements.
Wax is reportedly allowed to finished teaching her elective courses, but will no longer serve as the professor for the mandatory, introduction to civil procedure course.