Officials said they “acknowledge” the pain caused by a professor’s admission that she had lied about her racial identity for years.
Provost Brian Blake and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Wahlbeck said in an email to the University community Friday that they are developing a “number of options” for students enrolled in associate professor Jessica Krug’s classes. Krug, who specializes in Africa, Latin America and African American history, revealed in a Medium post Thursday that for years she lied about claiming Black North African descent, Black American descent and Black Caribbean descent.
“Many of you understandably have many questions in the wake of the Medium post by GW faculty member Jessica Krug,” Blake and Wahlbeck said in the email. “While the University reviews this situation, Dr. Krug will not be teaching her classes this semester.”
Krug began teaching two classes this semester on African and Latin American history, according to the schedule of classes.
They said they would communicate options for students enrolled in Krug’s classes “as soon as possible.”
Following Krug’s post, officials said they were “looking into” the matter but could not comment further on “personnel matters.”
Blake and Wahlbeck encouraged students to seek support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Advocacy and Support or the Wellbeing Hotline.
“Please know that we are taking this situation seriously and are here to support our community,” they said.
An email sent to students by the history department minutes after the announcement states that faculty members in the department are “shocked and appalled” by Krug’s admission that she fabricated her identity for “her entire career.” Krug has raised questions about the “veracity” of her teaching and research, the email states.
The department is calling on Krug to resign from her position and if she fails to do so, the department “recommends” that she have her tenure rescinded and that she be terminated, according to the email. The note was sent to students from the history department’s general email and does not list specific individuals within the department.
“With what she has termed her ‘audaciously deceptive’ appropriation of an Afro-Caribbean identity, she has betrayed the trust of countless current and former students, fellow scholars of Africana Studies, colleagues in our department and throughout the historical discipline, as well as community activists in New York City and beyond,” the email, obtained by The Hatchet, states.