SUNY Geneseo Professor under fire

October 23, 2017 07:07 AM

A professor at SUNY Geneseo is under investigation after students complained about a slide on a Power Point Presentation. On a petition, one student called the slide "disgusting, transphobic, and inappropriate".

The author of the petition posted a picture of the slide in question. The title is "Female or Shemale: can you tell?" Students say it comes from a quiz the Professor David Sorbello gave.

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On the website "Rate my Professor", which allows students to give grades to their teachers, Sorbello's reviews are mixed, with him receiving an overall grade of 3.5 out of 5. One poster called him hateful, while another called him caring.

The college's administration has taken notice. Without naming Sorbello directly, SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles released a statement saying school officials are gathering facts and deciding what to do. Part of the statement reads, "Let me say unequivocally that SUNY Geneseo has a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to diversity and inclusivity."

The statement did not indicate how long the review would take.

Statement from SUNY Geneseo:

A situation that took place in a sociology classroom earlier this week has been brought to my attention and I felt the need to communicate to you about it, particularly as it pertains to our value of inclusivity.

A professor is reported to have presented materials and made comments about which some students have expressed concern. We are taking the matter very seriously and are gathering the facts to determine if and what action is warranted.

The classroom is an environment in which students and faculty can and should discuss challenging topics and ideas, which makes it all the more important that we gather and fully review the facts in this case.  
As we review this situation, let me say unequivocally that SUNY Geneseo has a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We work diligently to sustain an inviting and supportive environment for people of all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, religions and other identities.   

I use this opportunity to remind you that our Interim Chief Diversity Officer Robbie Routenberg is available as a resource to the campus community. I would also encourage any students who have support needs to contact Lenny Sancilio, dean of students, and Dillon Federici, coordinator of LGBTQ Programs and Services.


Denise A. Battles


Chris Horvatits

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