ORLANDO, Fla. - Controversial University of Central Florida professor Charles Negy has his job back. He was fired in January 2021, but after filing a grievance against the university, an arbitrator reinstated him.
"I want to go back. I want to make a stand for free speech, academic freedom," Dr. Negy told FOX 35 News. "They fired a tenured professor… me. They cut me off from my income right away which they cannot do, unless there is some justified reason."
Negy became the center of protests for a tweet he posted around the time of George Floyd’s murder.
It said, "Sincere question: if Afr. Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming "systematic racism" exists?"
UCF said his firing didn’t have to do with the tweet - instead pointing to student complaints - claiming he created a hostile learning environment.
Still, the arbitrator wrote that the school did not have just cause to terminate him. He was awarded his job, tenure and pay back.
Not everyone agrees with the decision.
"I understand granting someone a second chance… but it shouldn’t just be that easy for someone with claims of ignorance as strong as that to just simply get back into the position," said UCF graduate Fridson Janvier, who is a former president of the UCF Chapter of the NAACP.
A new statement from the University says, "UCF stands by the actions taken following a thorough investigation that found repeated misconduct in Professor Negy’s classroom, including imposing his views about religion, sex and race. However, we are obligated to follow the arbitrator’s ruling."
Negy says he stands by all of his actions.
"The purpose of a university is not to make people feel comfortable. This is not a church. This is not a social gathering. The purpose of a university is to make you uncomfortable and make you to think about things," he said.
Dr. Negy says he would like to begin teaching again in the fall. He also says he plans on suing the university.