A batch of students ganged up on their 84-year-old professor at New York University, claiming that his course was too hard for them. Of the professor’s 350 total students, a whopping 82 of them signed a petition against Maitland Jones Jr., claiming that the professor’s course materials for his organic chemistry class were too hard and, therefore, Professor Jones was to blame for their extremely low test scores.
Now, the professor has been fired since the petition gained a lot of attention at New York University. Students claimed that the teacher’s poor lesson plans and lackluster course outline were to blame for their low test scores – and not their inherent smarts.
“We are very concerned about our scores, and find that they are not an accurate reflection of the time and effort put into this class,” the NYU petition against Professor Jones stated, according to the New York Times, which reported on the incident.
“We urge you to realize that a class with such a high percentage of withdrawals and low grades has failed to make students’ learning and well-being a priority and reflects poorly on the chemistry department as well as the institution as a whole.”
Students accused the tough professor of reducing the number of midterm exams from three down to just two.
He also did not offer extra credit as a way for students to boost their grades if they had poor scores on one assignment. The professor also did not offer Zoom classroom learning for students who were unable to attend class due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. The petition also listed Professor Jones’s “condescending and demeaning” tone as a reason he should be fired from NYU.
Jones claims that his problems with students arose a decade ago when he moved from Princeton to NYU in 2007. He noticed that the students at NYU simply did not focus as hard as the better students at Princeton University, where he first taught in the Ivy League.
However, the problem became worse during the global pandemic as his classes turned virtual. Students were lost and did not know how to study for their tests. In 2020, about 30 students from a total of 475 signed a petition asking that they get more help in their chemistry class.
“They were really struggling,” Professor Jones said. “They didn’t have good internet coverage at home. All sorts of things.”
Jump forward to 2022, and Jones said his students were very badly behaved.
“They weren’t coming to class, that’s for sure because I can count the house,” Jones said. “They weren’t watching the videos, and they weren’t able to answer the questions.”
After the course’s second midterm averaged a score of just 30, students created the petition to get Professor Jones fired from NYU. Their efforts succeeded, and now the elderly professor has been forced into early retirement.
“I don’t want my job back,” the former professor said. “I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”