A mathematics professor at Oakland, CA’s community college, Laney College has been placed on leave for asking a Vietnamese student to “Anglicize” her name because it sounded offensive in English.
In a Wednesday night email exchange that was quickly shared to tens of thousands on social media, Matthew Hubbard, a professor in the Laney College mathematics department, repeatedly asked the student, Phuc Bui Diem Nguyen, to “Anglicize” her name because it “sounds like an insult in English.”
In response, Ms. Nguyen told the professor that his request “feels discriminatory” and that she would file a complaint with the school’s Title IX office if he could not call her by her given name.
“I understand you are offended, but you need to understand your name is an offensive sound in my language,” Professor Hubbard replied. “I repeat my request.”