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Published On: Mon, Nov 14th, 2016

Rochester professor Ted Pawlicki resigns after backlash for offering to pay Trump protesters’ bus fare to Canada

A professor at the University of Rochester will not be returning to that position after he offered to buy bus fare to Canada for student protesters of President-elect Donald Trump if they promised not to return.

Ted Pawlicki, the director of the university’s undergraduate computer science program, resigned under pressure after posting his remark on a Facebook page promoting a campus demonstration dubbed “Not My America” that was held Friday.

“A bus ticket from Rochester to Canada is $16,” Pawlicki wrote on the page a day before the event. “If this is not your America, then I will pay for your ticket if you promise never to come back.”

The comment, which was subsequently deleted, but drew swift condemnation from people, some called Pawlicki “a bully” and “tone-deaf” and reported his remarks as a bias incident.

 photo/ donkeyhotey

photo/ donkeyhotey

Pawlicki resigned after the demonstration.

“I apologize for my Facebook post of Thursday, November 10th,” Pawlicki wrote in an email to computer science students and faculty announcing his resignation Friday. “These remarks were ill-considered, and I deeply regret any and all hurt they occasioned.”

His email went on to state that he decided to step down after consulting with the dean of the engineering school, Wendi Heinzelman, and the chair of the computer science department, Sandhya Dwarkadas.

“Please also be assured that I am absolutely dedicated to the equality of all people,” Pawlicki wrote. “I have believed that all my life and have always strived to live according to that principle.”

Pawlicki said his comment was meant as a joke.

“It was intended to be humorous, actually,” Pawlicki said. “Moving to Canada (in reaction to presidential election outcomes) has been a joke since the Reagan administration. I didn’t intend it to be malicious, certainly. I don’t think there’s anything malicious about it, either.”

Pawlicki said he had directed the undergraduate computer science program for 18 years and that, “I love the job.” He said he would continue in his role as a senior lecturer, an untenured teaching faculty position.

“It was suggested that I step down (as director) by my chair and my dean and I took their advice,” Pawlicki said.

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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