RALEIGH, N.C. (WRAL) — A North Carolina State University professor has been suspended and the university has launched an investigation after students reported the faculty member as saying “women are useless” during a recent lecture, authorities said Wednesday.
Lauren Leslie Barker, an NCSU spokeswoman, said in an email to NBC affiliate WRAL on Wednesday that, “The faculty member has been immediately suspended from teaching while this incident is being further investigated. At NC State we take pride in our campus culture which values and strives to live our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.”
Tweets from at least two students indicated the professor was Dr. E. David Davis, who teaches physics. They also indicated the incident happened Tuesday.
A student identified Davis as the professor during an interview with WRAL News.
In one tweet, a student said “For ppl asking, he called on 2 female students and was really rude and condescending to them. He word for word said ‘the women in this class are useless, let me call on a man’ and after I called him out he said it was a ‘joke’ bc women are important for our species to reproduce.”
Maira Haque is a junior at NC State and was outraged by what she said Davis said in class to another student. Haque says Davis called on a female student in the class and when she didn’t have the answers to his questions about an assignment, things escalated.
“You’re 20 years old and you forgot to bring this assignment in. Were you dropping the head as a child? Do you have memory problems?” Haque said.
Next, she said, the professor selected another student to answer a question and she too didn’t have the answer.
“She didn’t have the paper either and before he even could begin berating her or anything, she said ‘I have memory problems too,’” Haque said. “And that made everyone laugh, but he kept going and he was like, ‘I guess the women in this class are useless. I guess I should call on a man.’”
Haque said she stood up and questioned why the professor was talking that way.
The professor justified his comments by saying, “Well, obviously, it was a joke. Women are obviously useful because we need them for a species to reproduce,” according to a Twitter video.
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