Yet at least 2 of his students — it seems — complained to the chair of his department. The university decided that he had violated its anti-discrimination policy and ordered him to take sensitivity training and sent an assistant provost to monitor his class. Imagine that — a monitor sitting in the classroom!
(Why not — at most — record the classes? It's not like university students need a guardian there to spring into action.)
Hindley isn't taking it lying down:
Now, Hindley had circulated letters addressed to him by Provost Marty Krauss as well as the human resources office, creating what [department chair Steven L.] Burg called an “e-mail campaign” against the university’s decision... About 13 students, or a third of his class, staged a walkout to protest the professor’s treatment, according to the Justice, and the professor is also filing a formal appeal to the decision....Good for the students for standing up for a teacher who respects the capacity of the students understand humor and sarcasm. How awful that the 2 students who complained had somehow come to believe that classroom expression is supposed to be so bland that doesn't even sound like the things they've been told wound them deeply. It's not hard to guess where they learned that they are entitled to a padded environment and to complain when they feel uncomfortable . Look how the university responded to them.
In a comment posted to an editorial on the Justice’s Web site titled “Prof. Hindley deserves better,” a former student wrote, “Through humor and through sarcasm Professor Hindley is able to keep learning exciting. He is a brilliant mind with years of teaching experience. Sometimes his sarcasm did seem on the edge, but at the end of the day, if you had been coming to class regularly, you knew where he was coming from.”
The linked article, at Inside Higher Ed, compares what happened at Brandeis to the incident "at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where a law professor was accused of making anti-Hmong comments, and the details he later provided placed those comments in a very different context, one contested by some who brought the complaints in the first place." Click on my tag "Kaplan story" to read more about what happened at Wisconsin, where students also staged an event, but not in support of the professor, in denunciation.