A history professor who falsely claimed a Black identity has resigned her position.
Provost Brian Blake and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Wahlbeck said in an email to the University community Wednesday afternoon that Jessica Krug – a White associate professor who admitted to lying about being Black for years – has stepped down and her classes for the semester will be taught by other faculty members.
Blake and Wahlbeck said students “affected” can seek support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Advocacy and Support. Faculty and staff can receive assistance through the University’s Wellbeing Hotline, they said.
“We hope that with this update our community can begin to heal and move forward,” they wrote.
Krug wrote in a Medium post Thursday that she had lied about claiming Black North African descent, Black American descent and Black Caribbean descent. More than 15 former and current students told The Hatchet that Krug “betrayed” them, calling for her to be terminated and urging officials to learn from the incident and increase diversity in various academic departments.
Blake and Wahlbeck wrote to the community Friday that officials were looking into a “number of options” to remove Krug from the two classes she began teaching last week. The history department emailed students minutes later calling for Krug to step down from her position.
Faculty members in the history department said at a town hall Tuesday that they were looking to start a petition to strip Krug of her tenure.
Daniel Schwartz, the chair of the history department, emailed students in Krug’s History of Latin America I course Tuesday that Patricia Acerbi, a professorial lecturer of history, would be taking over the course. Schwartz wrote to students in Krug’s African History to 1880 class Wednesday afternoon that Janice Levi, a doctoral candidate in history at the University of California, Los Angeles, will now be their instructor.
“Her dissertation, ‘Whispers in the West: The Emergence of a Jewish Community in Twentieth-Century Ghana,’ focuses on the history of a Jewish presence in West Africa and processes of historical transmission under duress,” he wrote to students in the African history course. “She will be in touch with you shortly about any modifications she is making to the syllabus. Class will resume next Wednesday.”
Isha Trivedi contributed reporting.
This article appeared in the September 10, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.