Sensitivity training for obesity Tweet professor

A US professor who Tweeted that if overweight PhD applicants “didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs” then they “won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation” has been formally censured by his university.

August 7, 2013

Geoffrey Miller, associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, apologised after sending the Tweet, which he subsequently deleted. He later told UNM it had been part of a research project – a claim dismissed by the university.

The institution has now formally censured Professor Miller for “misrepresenting to his department chair and colleagues the motivation for a Tweet”.

“Miller at first claimed his Tweet was part of a research project, but investigations by the Institutional Review Board at New York University where he was a visiting professor, and the IRB at UNM where he is a tenured professor, concluded that was not correct,” a statement from his university read.

As part of the censure, Professor Miller will be required to develop “a plan for sensitivity training as it pertains to obesity” in cooperation with the UNM psychology department, and apologise to colleagues for his behavior.

Professor Miller, who can appeal the censure, will also have his work monitored by the chair of the psychology department, and will be assigned a faculty mentor for three years, with whom he will meet on a regular basis to discuss potential problems.

An investigation into Professor Miller’s dealings with students and colleagues found no evidence that he had discriminated against people who are overweight.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

Such unacceptable behavior on a social media service should also compel the Review Board to provide training for Miller. Basic instructions regarding what a tenured professor should be using Twitter for may help this man.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham