NYU fires prestigious professor over difficult course


NEW YORK (NewsNation) — A New York University professor was dismissed by the school after dozens of students signed a petition against him, claiming the curriculum was too difficult.

Dr. Maitland Jones Jr., 84, wrote the textbook “Organic Chemistry” and taught the subject at both NYU and Princeton University. The course, according to The New York Times, is a known make-or-break trial for students hoping to get into medical school.

The Times reported Jones’ student evaluations were regularly “the worst” among the chemistry department — and undergrad sciences courses overall.

Some students said aside from the course being too difficult, Jones didn’t offer enough exams or extra credit opportunities. He also allegedly spoke to students in a condescending manner.

The reaction to Jones’ firing online has been swift.

Some have called it ridiculous, noting that organic chemistry is a notoriously difficult course that challenges students at every institution. Some experts have said its difficulty is meant to keep qualifications high for those entering the medical field.

“In short, he was hired to teach, and wasn’t successful,” a statement from the university read in part. “NYU has lots of hard courses and lots of tough graders among the faculty — they don’t end up with outcomes that raise questions about the quality and effectiveness of the teaching, as this class did.”

Jones has defended his work and blames students for having less focus, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.

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