According to multiple news outlets, Dr. Christopher Trogan, who taught English at the college, confused the names of the two Black students who walked into the class late. In an attempt to defend himself, the adjunct instructor sent several emails to the 80-student class, addressing what he deemed an “innocent mistake.”
“The offended student assumed my mistake was because I confused that student with another Black student,” Trogan reportedly wrote in one of the messages. “I have done my best to validate and reassure the offended student that I made a simple, human, error. It has nothing to do with race.”
He then explained that the English course was “centered specifically and explicitly around issues of justice, equality, and inclusion” and attempted to prove he wasn’t racist by listing “everything he has done for minorities” throughout the course of his career.
According to one of the Black students, Trogan mixed them up with Chantel Sims on four separate occasions despite their attempts to correct him.
“I felt really disrespected,” the student said. “I did not feel heard because every time he [misnamed me], I would tell him, and it just seemed like he would brush it off or that he did not care.” Sims said she was more upset about the “random things he would throw into” his email.
The letter of correspondence eventually resulted in Trogan’s suspension and placement under investigation. Nearly a month later, the Fordham University professor was terminated from his position. In an email to his students, he claimed he was “completely left in the dark” and never made aware of the charges against him. He later revealed that he was fired for the initial message he sent addressing the allegations about his mix-up.
Per Fordham University, Trogan has since been served with trespassing orders that prevent him from entering university grounds and communicating with any of his former students.