The Unfortunate Case of Robert Klein Engler

Robert Klein Engler, an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University, told a small joke in his “City and Citizenship” class in 2010:

“There was a sociological study done in Arizona, and they discovered that 60 percent of the people in Arizona approved of the immigration law and 40 percent said, ‘no habla ingles.'”

His class was discussing Arizona anti-illegal immigration act SB 1070. Engler said the joke was just a way of stimulating discussion. “I wanted to get the students involved in a discussion on it so I told them I had heard this joke and wondered what they thought about it,” he said. But someone’s feelings were hurt.

Roosevelt University, which declined to comment on the matter, claims that Engler was fired for failing to cooperate in a harassment investigation. Mr. Engler offered to cooperate in the investigation, but only if the school put the details of the allegation in writing. When he brought a lawyer with him to the hearing, school administrators abruptly canceled the meeting. The University fired him not long after.

According to Roosevelt University’s student newspaper, the Torch, a student–Cristina Solis–who filed a written complaint against Mr. Engler over the joke is apparently pleased with Roosevelt University’s decision to terminate her former professor:

“If that [Mr. Engler’s firing] is what it took to give him a reality check, and to make sure that no other student has to go through that, maybe it’s for the best. It’s just something you don’t say in a classroom, not coming from a professor, and especially not at a school like Roosevelt University, which is based on social justice.”

That a school “based on social justice” (Roosevelt University’s website confirms Ms. Solis’s assertion) denied Mr. Engler a chance to fairly defend himself reeks of hypocrisy. If Roosevelt University is committed to the basic tenets of social justice–defined on their website as “a belief that fairness, honesty, integrity and impartiality should resonate throughout every institution within a civil society”–they should begin by explaining their actions to Mr. Engler.

Cole Maritz

Cole Maritz is a former intern at the Manhattan Institute.

6 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Case of Robert Klein Engler

  1. I’ve found that in this world the people who cry the loudest for “tolerance” and “inclusion” are usually the least tolerant people out there. When the academic left talks about “tolerance” what they don’t tell you is that it only applies if they disagree with you. They will drag you through the mud if you dare to disagree with them, and then they have the nerve to turn around and call you divisive. The only hate, intolerance, and division in this country right now is coming from the liberals.

  2. It appears that in reality, Mr. Engler is a rather arrogant right wing religious hypocrite, a Trump supporter with a true hatred of illegals and always seeking to let people know they’re sinners etc.

    You know, the exact kind of person that God he pays lip service to told him not to be.

    A Trump supporter pretty much says it all, never mind Trump is a pathetically hypocritical welfare queen that actually represents what’s wrong with this country at it’s core, he’s going to get all the Mexians Mr. Engler hates out of the country.

    By the way, the only removing all the illegals in this country would even be remotelu possible is to simply go around rounding up anyone who doesn’t “look American” which means people of color, concentration camp, all the white skinned illegals will be safe.

    1. Ah of course, Engler told an off-color joke which means he “must” be a racist and “must” be a Trump supporter and “must” be a religious zealot. There is absolutely NOTHING in the joke that says anything. The rest of your post is nothing more than speculation. even though you know nothing about this guy. And then you accuse conservatives of being hateful. The only hate and division I’m seeing here is coming from the left. A professor’s name is dragged through the mud because a triggered little snowflake couldn’t handle a joke. “Hate speech” is anything that a liberal disagrees with.

  3. Miss Solis is a true victim of our over own over generous,however lopsided,license of free speech(educational and judicial). I wonder in what other country Professor Klein Engler’s harmless statements would have been tolerated,had they not received the imprimature of the state. I have lived in three Latin American countries plus Italy and Spain. Get a grip Miss Solis and learn about your country before you go lambasting the innocent.

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