NYC Chemistry Prof Canned After Students Complain His Class Was Too Hard

Brittany M. Hughes | October 6, 2022
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Now, I'm not usually in the business of defending those in the world of ivory towers and "higher education." But in this case, I might just have to make an exception.

An NYU professor is claiming he was axed from the elite school after students claimed his organic chemistry class was too hard. Which, despite being a one-sided story at this point, is entirely believable in the age of participation trophies and hurt feelings.

The New York Post reports that 84-year-old Maitland Jones Jr., who literally wrote the book on organic chemistry, was let go after 82 of his 350 or so students signed a petition last year claiming that his class was too difficult and alleging that “a class with such a high percentage of withdrawals and low grades has failed to make students’ learning and well-being a priority.”

They also complained that Jones talked to them in a "condescending and demanding tone." 


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Jones, on the other hand, says students’ overall achievement levels “fell off a cliff” over the past couple of years, and not because he’s changed anything about his curriculum or tests.

“Students were misreading exam questions at an astonishing rate,” he said. ““In the last two years, they fell off a cliff. We now see single digit scores and even zeros.”

“They weren’t coming to class, that’s for sure, because I can count the house,” he added. “They weren’t watching the videos, and they weren’t able to answer the questions.”

Now, being an English major myself, I avoided classes like organic chemistry like the plague. But while I’d assume it’s not the easy course on Planet Earth, it also doesn’t seem the kind of subject material that leaves a lot of room for subjective grading – you either get the answer right, or you don’t. I did, however, study at the College of William and Mary, which is not exactly known for being a cakewalk, and the last thing our professors did was coddle our precious baby feelings if we bombed an exam.

Nor, I might add, did we ask them to.