Barry Mehler: Video of Ferris State Uni prof's SHOCKING rant against students goes viral

In a profanity-filled rant, the tenured professor calls students 'vectors of disease' and says 'I don't give a flying f--k' about complaints


                            Barry Mehler: Video of Ferris State Uni prof's SHOCKING rant against students goes viral
Ferris State University Barry Mehler greets students in the viral YouTube video (Barry Mehler/YouTube)

A video of a rant by a tenured professor from Ferris State University in Michigan is now going viral for a large number of reasons. From his extreme use of profanity to appearing on Zoom with a helmet to protect himself from the coronavirus, the bizarre rant by Barry Mehler has got a lot of attention on social media. He's now been placed on administrative leave, but the video continues to circulate. 

Mehler isn't the first, nor is he likely to be the last professor to cause a ruckus for their views. In October 2021, Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper's rant against White people caught a lot of attention, with many accusing her of hate speech. Then in November, Arizona prof Asao Inoue went viral for calling the current grading system "racist", while offering a rather controversial alternative. In December, it was professor Cassandra Aline Jones, for her racist tirade against White people.

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However, few professors have turned on their students the way Mehler has. According to reports, he wasn't happy that the university planned to return to in-person teaching, and took out his frustration on students ahead of the Spring 2022 semester. The 14-minute long rant wasn't a random upload. It was reportedly posted a day before the semester was due to begin.

Barry Mehler (BArry Mehler/Twitter)

Who is Barry Mehler?

The 74-year-old is a tenured professor of history at Ferris State and has been with the university's humanities department for 30 years. He also serves as the director of the university's Institute for the Study of Academic Racism. In his now-deleted bio from the university's website, it's written that Mehler is an alumnus of Yeshiva University (B.A.) and City College of New York (M.A.). It appears he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

A widely respected social scientist, Mehler founded the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism and is also a member of other prominent social groups like the NAACP, the Coalition for Human Dignity, and the Behavior-Genetics Association. In 1977, he also founded the International Committee to Free Russell Smith, a movement that advocated for the release of Russel Smith, an activist who advocated for rape victims in prison.

In 1997, he was also a key figure behind the Cattell controversy. The controversy stemmed from Raymond B. Cattell's lifetime achievement award, given to him by the American Psychological Association. Mehler successfully managed to get the award delayed after claiming Cattell's writings were "racist". Clearly, no stranger to making his opinions heard, Mehler made his feelings about returning to face-to-face teaching clear in a welcome video for students posted to his personal YouTube channel.

'You people are vectors of disease'

The video, which is still up on Mehler's channel has courted major controversy for the way he welcomed students to his course. "I don't know whether you people have noticed, but it's dangerous to breathe the air," he begins after removing a helmet and a mask. He then goes on to rant about capitalism and smoking, before saying "we are all f----d." He then goes on to rant about returning to face-to-face teaching, saying, "I'm old enough to be your grandpa, and you people are vectors of disease to me. So when I look at a classroom filled with 50 students, I see 50 selfish kids who don't care whether grandpa lives or dies."

Professor Barry Mehler greets students in his YouTube video with a helmet to prevent Covid-19. (Barry Mehler/YouTube)

Problematically, Mehler also tells students, "None of you… are good enough to earn an A in my class. So I randomly assign grades before the first day of class. I don't want to know anything about you. I don't even want to know your name. I just look at the number and I assign a grade." If that wasn't bad enough, he continues, "Go complain to your dean, f--k you! Go ahead. I'm retiring at the end of this year and I don't give a flying f--k any longer!" 

There's plenty more Mehler says, which you can see for yourself in the video. Attempting to stem the fallout, the university quickly placed Mehler on leave and opened an investigation into his behavior. President David Eisler told The Daily Mail, "I was shocked and appalled by this video. It is profane, offensive, and disturbing and in no way reflects our university or its values."

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