LAS VEGAS —A part-time math instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, issued an apology after protests about social media posts he made saying he would tell immigration authorities about students in his class who are in the U.S. illegally.
The instructor, George Buch, acknowledged with a statement to students in his classroom and to the campus newspaper, the Rebel Yell, that he made the Facebook comments that drew criticism and generated a campus protest on Thursday.
He said he realized they were hurtful to many students.
“It was intended to be a joke although clearly a poor one,” the statement said. “I have never, nor will I ever, create a classroom of hate or intolerance. These students and their success mean everything to me, and I’m sorry that I put them in jeopardy.”
Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Buch on Friday were not immediately successful. Campus media officials said that as a part-time instructor his telephone wasn’t in the campus directory, and his telephone number and email could not be found in other ways. He did not immediately respond to a Facebook message.
UNLV spokesman Tony Allen said campus administrators were investigating.
Allen noted that UNLV President Len Jessup joined other university presidents around the nation last week in signing a letter supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and undocumented immigrant students.
Jessup also issued a campus message this week calling inclusiveness a core belief for the university.
“UNLV will continue to protect its students, faculty, and staff against racism, discrimination, bullying, or other intimidation that threatens the civility and diversity that makes us strong and proud,” it said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that before the controversy, Buch drew a 4.7 out of 5 rating on the online teacher review website RateMyProfessors.com, which uses anonymous ratings and comments about professors from more than 7,000 schools.
Several postings on Friday criticized him, and his rating dropped to 4.5.