Professor under investigation following alleged racist Facebook post

Louise Cusine on the university's investigation into a computing professor

Louise Cusine
9th October 2020
The Urban Sciences Building under construction in April 2017. Image: Mark Sleightholm
Newcastle University computing professor Dr Paolo Missier is being investigated for a comment posted on his Facebook page

In August, the university opened up an investigation into Dr Missier following a post he made on social media in April.

Having shared a picture from another user of crowded balconies at a block of flats, Dr Missier added the caption: ‘Stay at home, Indian style…’

We deplore racism of any kind and such behaviour goes against our principles

A spokesperson at the university put forward the following statement: "At Newcastle University we deplore racism of any kind and such behaviour goes against our principles which emphasise treating others with respect.

"The allegations concerning this Facebook post form part of an ongoing investigation. As such, we cannot comment any further.’’

One student anonymously told the Courier, ‘‘It is agonising and bitterly disappointing that a lecturer at Newcastle University, a university that prides itself on its diversity, would say such an inflammatory statement and so casually on a public forum too."

They continued, "This doesn’t just affect students - think of the BIPOC faculty members. Are we safe? Are we appreciated? Are we in an environment that enriches us and allows us to thrive?"

Dr Missier gained his PhD from the University of Manchester in 2007 and subsequently began teaching at Newcastle University in 2011.

Featured image: Mark Sleightholm

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