St Joseph’s College, one of the oldest colleges in Bengaluru sacked Ashley Tellis, Associate Professor and an LGBT rights activist earlier this month citing his involvement in “anti-college activities” and for hurting the “sensitivities of undergraduate students from heterogeneous backgrounds” in his classes, NDTV reported on Monday.
Prof Tellis taught in the English department.
“On March 9 2017, while I am in the middle of a BCom Second Year class, I am asked to come down and meet the Principal of St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Sciences, Fr. Victor Lobo, immediately. Once there, he makes me wait for 10 minutes outside the office, while my students are waiting in class. Then he calls me in and tells me: ‘Students are disturbed by your personal opinions. The management has got to know of these opinions. I have been asked to relieve you with immediate effect’,” he described the events leading to the sacking in a Facebook post.
“As for me, this is not a new story. This is not the first time this has happened to me and it will not be the last. But, unlike the students, I have not, am not and will not take it lying down”, Prof Tellis
Reacting to the professor’s charges, the college said in a statement that Prof Tellis was appointed on a temporary six-month contract in November 2016 and he had clearly stated his orientation in his application and at the interview - the college deemed this to be his personal choice.
“Later, while we appreciated his intellectual abilities and his scholarship, we were pained to note that he seemed to pay no heed to the sensitivities of undergraduate students from heterogeneous backgrounds,” the report said quoting the college’s statement.
“After receiving several complaints from students and their parents about Prof Ashley having crossed the line repeatedly in his interaction and comments, the management decided that it would be for the best to terminate his services,” it added.
The Professor now has hit back with several other Facebook posts accusing the college of carrying out a charade to expel him from the college.