A white University of New Hampshire chemistry professor has been accused of posing as a woman of color online to post offensive comments and attack people fighting for racial diversity and inclusion.
The fake Twitter account, “The Science Femme, Woman in STEM” which used the handle @piney_the, amassed more than 13,000 followers before it was deleted along with the suspected professor’s personal Twitter account.
According to Seacoast Online, the account frequently claimed that they were a “WOC,” [woman of color] and a “POC,” [person of color] despite being run by a white male.
In several tweets, @piney_the also attacks the Black Lives Matter movement as “terrorism,” makes derogatory comments about the transgender community as well as tweeting censored nude pictures of former California Congresswoman Katie Hill.
The account also boasted about “killing my dept’s woke statement on recent social unrest” which was being put together by colleagues in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in May, without specifying which department they were referring to.
“This took several weeks and may have permanently burned some bridges, but I think it’s important. It is a toxic ideology that cannot be given an inch,” a tweet said.
“I was successful in removing all woke terminology from the statement including anti-racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and claims of systemic racism. Before attempting a similar feat, it’s important to make sure you know what all these terms really mean.”
In a September 30 tweet, the University of New Hampshire said: “We were recently made aware of allegations on social media about a member of our faculty. We are deeply troubled by what we’ve learned so far and immediately launched an investigation.”
In a further statement to the Seacoast Online, UNH confirmed the professor is currently not teaching pending the investigation.
“The employee at the center of allegations on social media is on leave and not in the classroom,” a spokesperson said.
“In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation the university is unable to comment further. The university is unable to confirm the identity of the employee.”
The chair of the university’s Chemistry Department, Glen Miller, refused to comment on the allegations.
According to an email seen by The Associated Press and Seacoast Online, Miller did acknowledge one of their professors had set up a fake Twitter account and posted tweets that ranged from “unfortunate to hurtful to deeply offensive.”
Miller also distanced himself from the professor’s actions in a now-deleted post to the UNH Department of Chemistry’s Facebook page.
“As a Department, we wholeheartedly reject any statements or actions which seek to minimize, dismiss, hurt or harm others. That is not us. That is not what we stand for. That is not who we are. Nor will it ever be,” he wrote.
In the leaked email, Miller adds that the professor in question planned to “come clean” about his actions.
“As I mentioned, I spoke to [the professor], twice actually. [The professor] is embarrassed and overwhelmed and shell shocked. He fears that this could be the end of his academic year,” Miller wrote.
The alleged professor in question, who Newsweek is not naming, has been contacted for comment, along with UNH.