Rutgers suspends top anthropology professor for allegedly refusing to teach, report says
NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University has suspended prominent anthropologist Robert Trivers with pay after he allegedly told students he knew nothing about the “Human Aggression” class he was assigned to teach, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Trivers said he was told by Department of Anthropology officials to teach the class over his objections that he knew nothing about the subject. In his first lecture last month, Trivers told students he would do his best to learn the subject with the students and teach the class with the help of a guest lecturer.
The professor was told he was suspended for involving students in the dispute and effectively refusing to teach the course, according to the report. Another professor, who had taught the course last year, stepped in to take over the class.
Last month, Trivers told the Daily Targum, the student newspaper, top university officials refused to meet with him to discuss his problems teaching the class.
“You would think the university would show a little respect for my teaching abilities on subjects that I know about and not force me to teach a course on a subject that I do not at all master,” Trivers told the campus newspaper.
Trivers’ said his expertise is in social theory. He has won top awards in the field for his work.
“I don’t want to sound immodest, but I am one of the greatest social theorists in evolutionary biology alive, period,” Trivers told the campus newspaper. “I won the Crafoord Prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize for evolution, [worth] half a million dollars. I’m not an underperformer.”
How do you pull off that suspended with pay deal? The only time I get paid for not working is vacation – and lots of people don’t even get that.