Published On: Sat, Jul 16th, 2016

Former FAU Professor Sues University for Discrimination

Dr. Chunxue Victor Wang, a Florida Atlantic University professor of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology was fired from the university after being suspected of sending accusatory emails to faculty members.  Now, he is suing the university under the claim that his dismissal from his position was an act of discrimination. He accused the Board of Trustees of disregarding the Florida Civil Rights Act and claimed one count of deprivation for due process as evidenced by the Broward Palm Beach New Times. Although the lawsuit was filed on Friday, June 3, 2016, the first emails date back to 2014.

The emails signed by a “Mr. Joe” were traced back to Indonesia and blamed faculty of plotting amongst each other to maintain employee wages low and boost unqualified workers to higher positions. Thus, FAU faculty deduced that “Wang and Joe having both come from Asian descent, (Wang from China and Mr. Joe from Indonesia.) Wang or someone connected to him must have been the person behind the account.” The email account is under the name referring to a Chinese city rather than a location in Indonesia according to the Broward Palm Beach New Times.   It’s also curious that the username mentions a “kid” which may give a signal as to the age of the culprit. But FAU officials seem to be convinced Wang is to blame.

The faculty also took into consideration the professor’s salary complaints around the same time the email campaign was underway.   The lawsuit stated that Wang had come upon the realization he was receiving “19,000 dollars less in comparison to his tenured colleagues that were not of Asian descent.”  Additionally, Wang acknowledged that he had never been to Indonesia as stated in the Palm Beach Post. Despite this, the professor was fired on May 24, 2016 after failing to comply with the universities orders to offer “an official apology” to the professors mentioned in the emails.

Wang decided to seek legal help after he obtained a “C” on his teacher evaluation. In fact, he was also deferred for five days from campus as well as invited to attend a training workshop for anti discrimination, ironically enough.

“It’s not right of a prominent Florida university to try and get rid of a good professor while paying him less,” said an FAU student who wished to remain anonymous.

It seems Dr. Wang has left behind quite a legacy at the university as he has appeared on CCTV America for a segment on vocational education and written over 200 books and journal articles. Some of them even employed as textbooks for courses specializing in Strategic Leadership and Management. Prior to his dismissal, the professor had also been working on editing the International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology alongside Columbia professor Dr. Lyle Yorks and adult educational theorist, Dr. Patricia Cranton according to his college of education profile on the university’s website.

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  1. Jeff says:

    Guy sounds like a piece of work. Speaking of which, the amount of publications alone in that amount of time is a huge red flag and I would have them peer reviewed a second time. Since tfa didn’t mention that he was tenured himself, he would make a good bit less than a Prof with tenure duh. Thanks also for the worthless anonymous quote in tfa. Top notch journalism there.
    From a tech standpoint, fau dropped the ball. Probably has a VPN setup stateside for his relatives overseas to access the internet outside of the great firewall of China. Indonesia is lax with hosting (why all the illegal movie sites host there and Estonia lol) so that gels but really should have checked his laptop for the VPN connection saved. Not like he setup a new one each time from scratch…if he did… Good luck to all involved.

    • Mohamad says:

      Jeff, you really sounded like Dr. Ira Bogotch who has been so jealous of Dr. Wang’s publications. You’d be surprised if you search for his books on Amazon.
      Chair Shockley is a known Wily Fox who ordered FAU technicians to have searched Dr. Wang’s on campus computer “numerous” times and found nothing to corroborate his fabricated discriminatory opinions against Dr. Wang. Jury will laugh at his idiocy for sure and Kelly may eventually fire him because over the years, Shockley has fired way too many stellar faculty and students. He should have learned a lesson after he fired Micheal Galbraith. He is SO Guilty and should go to Hell because Micheal was a STAR here and was recently killed at a very young age. If Shockley did not remove him, Micheal would be living like you and Bogotch.

      Jeff, you can never out start the wiley fox, Shockley. He is a criminal and deserves jail time, many women full time and adjunct faculty (removed by him) say so.

    • S. Rios says:

      Agreed. Shockley is such a guilty scoundrel that he should be taken to court. He simply ganged up on Dr. Wang, an exceptional professor and scholar. It is ironical FAU did his 360 chair evaluation within 1.5 years. To cover his own ASS, Shockley perhaps wanted to scapegoat a minority faculty. However, this time, he picked a wrong one. FAU will lose, big time. Shockley engaged in “systematic and intentional” discrimination and retaliation. Please note in 2011, Shockley introduced Dr. Wang as a nationally and internationally recognized scholar.
      This time, no one will be able to protect Shockley. His long time buddies, Bristor and Hawkins will face trial…

      This department needs a chair who must be a leading scholar and ethical person, not a champion of discrimination and retaliation! How pathetic Shockley’s CV has nothing…

  2. Dennis Keefe says:

    Dear President Kelly, Provost Perry, Dr. Shockley, Professors, Selected Graduate Students,

    (Attachments: Dr. Henschke’s letter; and, this letter in pdf-format).

    The festering scandal involving the sudden removal of Dr. Victor C.X. Wang, in the fourth week of his summer courses some 30 days ago, has now reached the attention of a key national leader in the field of Adult Education. This ominous development portends what may be a descent down the dark side of both academic and public opinion for our school and our students. Of note, the letter from Dr. John Henschke (attached below), former president of the AAACE, American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, and past chair and current member of the board of the International Adult Educators Hall of Fame, is particularly damning of the machinations and seeming corruption within the Department of Educational Leadership of FAU. Machiavellian moves mediated by just one, two or three “scholar” administrators, yet countenanced by too many others at low, middle and upper levels of our university management system.

    This purulent-yellow scandal is now deepening as it seeps from inside the walls of FAU into the domain of academia nationwide. Serious scholars in Florida and elsewhere will be asking questions: Why would an educational leadership department fire a tenured professor? Why would it fire this professor in middle of a course, weeks after the semester started? Why would the head of any reputable department remove its, by far, most-published professor? Why would any school ever try to get rid of the editor of an academic journal – few in the FAU Department of Education published more than one peer-reviewed article last year, let alone edit an educational journal! And why would FAU NOT be completely satisfied with a teacher who consistently gets above, and sometimes well-above average ratings from students? The man can publish; the man can teach and inspire. What more does any university big or small want from its loyal faculty? Please know that the very last student survey of Dr. Wang’s semester course, just a few weeks ago, placed him at the top of the entire department – a perfect rating! And finally, while most good universities are trying to hire qualified international professors, why would FAU give the pink slip to their eminent Chinese professor of education? Nothing that has happened to this professor, who is the only breadwinner in a family of four, makes moral or logical sense. These academic contradictions are so egregious that they almost demand a J’accuse from a Zola or a Voltaire.

    Something very unusual is surreptitiously taking place in one dark and dirty corner of FAU, and it is very ugly. I do not know exactly what the cause is, but it needs to be investigated and soon. When adjuncts without publishing records are favored over well-versed scholars, something is awry. Some of us are beginning to suspect nepotism, favoritism and even hemophiliac hiring – well, whatever – the disease is deeply embedded under the veneer of respectable scholarship, concealed in someone’s cap and gown, a wolf in a sheepskin, perhaps. In addition, Adult and Community Education as well as other branches of Educational Leadership were already severely hampered because of its hiring of its own graduates, one after the other, to teach our graduate courses! We are starting to get a reputation of “a charter school,” “a correspondence course center,” “a phantom curriculum.” We are risking investigations by outside accrediting agencies. In the institution itself, we are not only ignoring the traditions of graduate education, we are violating the newly minted key strategic initiatives of Dr. Kelly and his team.

    The damning letter of Dr. Henschke needs to be taken very seriously. To some of us in the field, he is the Jimmy Carter of Adult Education: a good man, an honest man, a very experienced man who has held major leadership positions his entire life, including those of church minister, national president of AAACE (mentioned above), professor and scholar. His CV is some 72 pages long, chock full of peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations domestic and international, and academic experience in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and, of course, in the United States at the University of Missouri, at Boston University, at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary: Masters in Divinity; Masters in Theology; Doctorate in Education; Studies in vocal music, instrumental music, counseling – a modern Renaissance man and a Humanist. He was a doctoral student of Malcolm Knowles, considered by some to be the leader in adult education. In the field of andragogy (Adult Education), to mention that you studied with Malcolm Knowles is like a linguist saying that he or she studied under Noam Chomsky, or a physicist with Richard Feynman, or an economist with Robert Reich. When Dr. Henschke speaks, the men and women in our field take heed. Dr. Henschke, eminently qualified, is trying to speak reason and humanity to our school FAU, now.

    More and more of us master and doctoral students are realizing that an organization that suddenly fires one of its top scholars, respected and appreciated by so many, is not an institution that is following its own precepts. In fact, it is an institution not worth the tuition and fees, nor the respect of honest men and women students and teachers. And in terms of our respect for scholarship and academic publishing, we are not far from the fallen, and the falling, “virtual universities”. In order that the programs here do not become more tainted than they already are, the reestablishment of honesty, academic excellence and service need to be reinstated, and the first ineluctable step for a rekindling of the academic life of the Department of Education is the rescinding of the cowardly order by Dr. Shockley to fire Dr. Wang. There is no better friend of academia and of FAU than Dr. Victor C.X. Wang (whose CV, by the way, encompasses over 50 pages). This Dr. Henschke knows; and with fear I say, this everyone in the field of Education and Adult Education will begin to hear about in coming months. We do not want the value of our PhD’s nor the reputation of FAU to suffer through the revelation of this scandal. The cure needs to be administered, and the obituary must not, at all costs, be published. For the love of humanity and spirituality, SAVE THIS DEPARTMENT.

    We demand amends, and an apology for the academic assassination of one of FAU’s leading teachers and scholars. We scholars demand an explanation for the indecent firing of a decent man. A South Florida university is not a North Korean institution of higher learning.

    Have we no decency? Dr. Shockley, You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, Sir? Family of four, a home to be lost, insurance canceled, a reputation to be blighted, a career and an academic life to be snuffed out – in secrecy. A statue of clay standing on a pedestal of ashes pointing a finger at an honest, hard-working man, beloved by his family, his students, and scholars the world over.

    With deepest respect for this Institution of Higher Learning, on this day July 13, 2016,

    Dennis Keefe
    Presidential Scholar
    Department of Educational Leadership, Adult and Community Education

  3. M Deede says:

    Some 100 current College of Education Faculty members accused Bristor and Shockley (his stooge, Bryan) of disrupting the collegial, close-knit culture of the school and turning it into an environment of fear and intimidation, discrimination and retaliation, where the back-stabbing politics were so thick that few would dare challenge the dean and the incumbent chair, demoted from associate dean’s position in 2003. Those current and former employees had unsuccessfully urged the university via UFF administrator’s survey (more than two years consecutively) not to reappoint Bristor to a second term, claiming that she created a “hostile workplace” in which staff, particularly women and people over 40, were hounded out of jobs and roles amid numerous violations of FAU’s Code of Conduct and HR policies. According to these UFF administrators’ surveys, Bristor refused to redress the bully mentality of chairs towards faculty and students. Some faculty claim that Bristor might be “reimbursed” by Shockley’s grant monies. 2015, July, Provost Perry’s memo was to do the chair’s 360 evaluation immediately, but she hid the memo until the beginning of the 2016 Spring Semester. Out of pressure from this department’s faculty, she reluctantly did it. However, in 2014, when Perry wanted to replace Shockley with another, Bristor protected Shockley, indicating Dr. Russo had left FAU on her own, ignoring the fact that Shockley has had a history of removing stellar faculty including a tenured professor named Michael Galbraith, he fired for sexual harassment (fabricated by Shockley’s cohort). She allowed Shockley to remove most of ACE full time faculty and now he successfully made Bryan the only Queen Bee in the program, teaching all her courses online in her comfortable home located in South Carolina. The rest of the vast majority of courses are assigned to her students, a clear violation of SACS accreditation standards. For more, please contact Bob or Meredith, UFF presidents.

  4. M. M says:

    Facts About Retaliation/Discrimination–A Lesson for University Officials:

    Retaliation is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination in the federal sector and the most common discrimination finding in federal sector cases.

    An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination. The same laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and disability, as well as wage differences between men and women performing substantially equal work, also prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose unlawful discrimination or participate in an employment discrimination proceeding.

    For details, please visit EEOC website

    • Patricia Ows says:

      Florida Civil Rights Act

      760.01 Purposes; construction; title.—
      (1) Sections 760.01-760.11 and 509.092 shall be cited as the “Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.”
      (2) The general purposes of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 are to secure for all individuals within the state freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status and thereby to protect their interest in personal dignity, to make available to the state their full productive capacities, to secure the state against domestic strife and unrest, to preserve the public safety, health, and general welfare, and to promote the interests, rights, and privileges of individuals within the state.

      • Burdham says:

        Dear President Kelly and Provost Perry,

        Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. John A. Henschke, Ed.D. and I currently work at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. I have served as President of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education [AAACE], the Professional Association in the field of Adult Education. I have also served as Chair of the Commission on International Adult Education [CIAE] of AAACE. Recently, the Self Directed Learning Society directed by a former FAU Professor, Dr. Lucy, awarded me the Malcolm Knowles Award in Florida.

        I am contacting you to urge you to reconsider your decision to terminate the tenure of Dr. Victor C. X. Wang as it may draw negative national and international attention to your institution that is likely to tarnish its reputation due to the fact that the termination appears to be based on discrimination and retaliation.

        I have known and worked with Dr. Wang for the past 15 years in the field of Adult Education and Education Leadership on an international level and have come to know him as an exceptional instructor with an outstanding record who is popular among his graduate students as well as his peers and colleagues. I serve as an associate editor for Dr. Wang and have personally contributed to Dr. Wang’s journal. I have also asked Malcolm Knowles’ close colleague, Dr. Edgar Boone, to endorse his journal, International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology. The scholarship of Dr. Wang adds greatly to the scholarship level and reputation of your institution based on the sheer number of his refereed publications as well as the renown of his journal, which is catalogued by many schools around the world, including Ivy League schools. In fact, I have learned that the FAU library deans look forward to the journal’s publication and his books every spring and hold workshops to study Dr. Wang’s journal articles.

        I have heard from both Dr. Wang’s graduate students as well as his colleagues that they feel that Dr. Wang was framed by his chair and dean based on unfounded and discriminatory opinions, rather than hard facts, related to negative statements about FAU made by a “Mr. Joe” with an e-mail account in Indonesia. Universities should be the institution in society that is the most dedicated to reason and evidence-based decisions, but the decision to terminate Dr. Wang’s tenure does not appear to be supported by either reason or hard evidence. Instead, the decision seems to be based on a personal agenda of only a handful of people with a serious lack of even the most basic knowledge of geography, as they seem to assume that every person of Asian origin knows and communicates with every other person in Asia.

        Should you need to contact me regarding this petition on behalf of Dr. Wang, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am available every day as I am deeply concerned about Dr. Wang’s well-being which is seriously affected by your institution’s decision to terminate his tenure and exceptional contributions.

        Most Sincerely,

        John A. Henschke, Ed. D.

        • Eric Fisher says:

          I had the opportunity of talking with Kelly twice about this dinosaur, Shockley. No one is happy with his TOXIC/Nasty MISCONDUCT against faculty and students. From what Kelly told me, Shockley’s days are numbered. He will retire on his own. We told Dr. Wang to sue his pants off to get justice for the whole academic community. FAU should release this racist and his racist friends in the administration, engaged in a pattern of misconduct and discrimination…

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