A former Columbia University professor who emigrated from Soviet-occupied Romania to the United States in 1969 quit, telling reporters that the university had become more communist than the country he fled.
Prof. Andrei Serban quit his tenured position at Columbia University, having worked at the university since 1992, and made a series of surprising revelations about the school’s hiring and admittance practices in a recent interview.
In one instance, Serban, who is 77, revealed that he was ordered not to hire a straight, white, male professor, with his superior telling him that the university has “too many white professors, too many heterosexual men.”
He was also told he could not hire candidates matching his own description, because he is “married, a heterosexual man who has children.”
Serban also claimed that during the university’s production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he was pressured to allow a transgendered student to play the role of Juliet:
A second incident involving a male-to-female transgender student was the final impetus for Serban to resign, according to the translated video.
While reviewing applicants to the theater school, the transgender student prepared Juliet’s monologue from “Romeo and Juliet.”
Serban says that he could not believe that this person could become Juliet. After his colleagues expressed displeasure with him for stating as much, Serban resigned, saying that he could not violate his principles.
More damning, the professor told Romanian TV that working at the university “felt like I was living under communism again,” a statement underscored by Serban having been born in post-war Romania.
Throughout Serban’s youth, Romania was a occupied by the Soviet Union.