Monday, October 16, 2006

Sounds funny to me!

UNT prof resigns after video tempest

05:04 PM CDT on Monday, October 16, 2006

By MATTHEW ZABEL / The Dallas Morning News

Dr. Paul Jones, a University of North Texas chemistry professor who showed a sexually suggestive video in his organic chemistry class, resigned Saturday, choosing to return to retirement.

Jones, who already has apologized for the incident early this month, said the complaint about the video “set off a firestorm of nasty stuff on campus and at home.”

“I was getting threatening phone calls, nasty notes, and it was all really upsetting my wife,” Jones said. “I hope the university is better off, and I believe my family will be better off.”

Jones retired from UNT in May and returned part-time this fall to teach an organic chemistry laboratory.

He has been on administrative leave since Oct. 10, when university officials began investigating complaints about a video he showed his class.

The video, “Stripped,” showed a woman undressing. After she had stripped, the woman took off her wig and unzipped a body suit to reveal that “she” really was a fully clothed man.

Jones said he was simply trying to provide some comic relief to a difficult subject, and several students in the class said most students were laughing at it.

But Deborah Leliaert, a spokeswoman for the university, said last week that some students had complained that the video was inappropriate.

University officials are investigating the complaints, she said.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole situation is really ridiculous. Many students disliked Dr. Jones because of his ultrastrict grading and attendance policies. This is a case where an unhappy student has turned an internal academic affair over a disputed grade into a personal smear campaign.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I show videos in my bio classes as filler they are always relevant to the course materials. I'm not sure I'd be canned from my adjunct position for showing the video that Dr. Jones did, but suspect so, and I'm not going to test the hypothesis either.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took Jones last year and I always wondered how he got away with the videos. Some were really wierd. None of them were related to organic chemistry in any way.

I do think it was censure worthy, but I don't think he should have been forced to resign.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

What, no link to the video??!!

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing this is the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGJldIwfI6o


It's pretty dumb stuff.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Matt Dowling said...

I'm very disappointed to hear about this. I took organic chemistry from Dr. Jones and had an excellent experience--he was a truly great person to take a difficult subject with. Too bad he decided to show the video. I didn't have any problem with it, but in today's fundamentalist climate, I could have probably predicted this outcome. Okay, I'm going to go be sad now...

11:39 AM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

I actually posted my comment about no link in jest, but now having seen the video, anyone who would actually harras a professor at home for showing something relatively innocuous like that video is an idiot. I think it's high time that we reclaim out culture from the American Taliban fundamentalists who seek to impose their ideology on all public discourse and behavior. If they want to live in a repressive theocracy, tell them to take a hike and go live in Iran.

11:51 PM  
Anonymous hiskoolkid07 said...

That is stupid. There are NAKED WOMEN in your textbooks! Its not like it was a naked woman undressing infront of a naked man.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He shold have been fired, shouldn't he?

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hypersensitive climate on today's campuses is getting more and more ridiculous. A professor showing an badly chosen video is a mistake. Only a documented pattern of inappropriate behavior is worth disciplinary action. What a crock.

Is a bad choice, something we're all guilty of making at one time or another, really worth threatening phone calls, nasty notes, and dragging someone's name through the dirt?

1:22 PM  
Blogger Baruch Grazer said...

If I were a student, my problem wouldn't be with the subject matter of the film (okay, I actually would have a problem with it, on feminist grounds), but...

If I'm there for chemistry, I want the prof to be teaching me some chemistry. All the time. Chemistry. You have full freedom of research and speech, but for this hour, we're here for chemistry. Stop whatever this is, and let's have some more chemistry, please.

Unless the woman, or her clothes, were representing molecules or enzymes or something, do it on your own time.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous, I took Ochem with Dr. Jones. He would these videos or jokes in the 5 minutes before class started. Anytime he thought people in the class would be offended, he would warn the class and tell them not to watch. It did not disrupt class nor did it take away from the time that we were taught chemistry, since it was before the class started.
All the videos did was lighten the mood before class and maybe help to wake people up since the class was early in the morning.

4:17 AM  

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