Douglas Muir's classes continue in his absence

Muir will return Oct. 17


The Department of Engineering and Society ensures that Muir's classes continue smoothly while he is on leave. 

Anna Hoover | Cavalier Daily

The Department of Engineering and Society in the Engineering School is working to ensure the smallest possible impact on students after Douglas Muir, an executive lecturer in the Engineering School and the Darden School, took leave.

Muir agreed to take leave Oct. 7, after he made a Facebook comment which compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan.

“Black lives matter is the biggest rasist organisation [sic] since the clan [sic]. Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!” Muir wrote.

Muir made the comment under Charlottesville realtor Roger Voisinet’s Facebook post which depicted Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza speaking at the Paramount Theater.

According to University policy, the department chair and dean or vice president must approve a leave of absence for a faculty member.

As the chair of the Department of Engineering and Society, Dr. W. Bernard Carlson is in charge of coordinating classes when professors go on leave.

“It’s my responsibility to work with the faculty to identify who’s going to teach for the professor who’s out of the classroom,” Carlson said. “In this case, we look for the best experts to come in and teach the classes that Mr. Muir would normally teach.”

Carlson himself is teaching Muir’s classes the week of Oct. 10-14, according to an email sent to his students.

Muir teaches entrepreneurship in the Engineering School and Darden School. While he is not teaching at Darden this semester, he is teaching three different classes in the Engineering School. He is currently the only lecturer for New Product Development, a Science, Technology and Society class, which is a required class for students minoring in Engineering Business.

Carlson emphasized that faculty members go on leave for a variety of reasons. When a faculty member takes leave, the Department of Engineering and Society focuses on ensuring classes are continuous for the benefit of the students.

“We seek to have a minimum impact on their learning experience, and what we do is make sure we identify the best possible teachers to come in and lecture and lead the discussions and handle the assignments,” Carlson said. “When it occurs, we ask the faculty that we have to step in and teach. We stay on schedule the same way as the course is normally set up.”

An email sent to students stated Muir would return to teach class on Oct. 17.

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