New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Another professor suspended after posts related to Israel-Hamas war

The professor allegedly received an email from the university confirming his suspension on Jan. 29, citing violations of NYU’s non-discrimination policies.
A+white+and+purple+N.Y.U.+flag+and+a+purple+banner+that+says+N.Y.U.+Steinhardt+is+placed+side+by+side+on+a+building+wall.
Qianshan Weng
(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

NYU suspended Steinhardt professor Tomasz Skiba after the university allegedly notified him in a Jan. 29 email that it would be investigating complaints regarding his “social media posts” related to the Israel-Hamas war. University spokesperson John Beckman confirmed Skiba’s suspension in a written statement to WSN, but did not provide additional details regarding his employment.

Skiba said that in NYU’s email, which WSN was not able to verify independently, the university accused him of engaging in “harassment based on” its Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policies, including discrimination on the basis of race and shared ancestry. 

In December, Skiba was identified online after reposting a story on his Instagram account refusing to condemn the Palestinian militant group Hamas, instead criticizing the United States “for taking our money and paying for a genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Skiba also received backlash online for posting a video of himself saying most of Hamas’ hostages “were okay” and that “some of them actually liked their time.” He told WSN that, as a result of his social media activity, he has received multiple threats to his life and employment. 

“It’s hard for me to watch killings of innocent children and not speak about it — that doesn’t make me antisemitic,” Skiba said. “The last thing I would want is to make anyone feel uncomfortable, especially my students, because we all should be represented. We should all be free and be able to speak up and be respected.”

Skiba said he received two letters from the Office of Human Resources on Jan. 19, which WSN was also unable to verify independently. He also said one of the letters reappointed him as an adjunct for the spring 2024 semester while the other announced his suspension with pay “effective immediately.” 

The professor said he was told the Office of Equal Opportunity would investigate reports regarding his conduct during his suspension, and that he was prohibited from engaging in any NYU-related activity, visiting the campus or having “any contact with members of the NYU community.” Skiba said he plans to meet with the OEO sometime next week to discuss the complaints made against him.

Since the start of the war, the university has repeatedly emphasized its disciplinary action policies and, in October, published a report stating that it had 90 student conduct cases under review. Just last week, Gallatin professor Amin Husain was suspended after a video of him criticizing media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war circulated online. The university also suspended a first-year student after they were identified online for tearing down posters of Israeli hostages outside the Stern School of Business last semester.

“Since there has been so much misinterpretation of my words out there, I want to make sure that everyone knows my true intent,” Skiba said. “In the midst of pain and turmoil in the world, the last thing I wanted was to cause more pain to people.”

Contact Adrianna Nehme at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Adrianna Nehme, News Editor
Adrianna Nehme is a sophomore still trying to decide what to major in. Originally from a small town in Indiana, she moved to Chicago, Illinois for high school — where she was also the news editor for the school paper! She loves experiencing music live at concerts, seeking restaurants to try in the city and reading fiction novels — her all-time favorite is "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving. Check out her latest adventures on Instagram @adrianna.nehme.
Qianshan Weng, Multimedia Editor
Qianshan Weng is a junior studying Media, Culture and Communication and Journalism. You may pronounce his name as "chi''en-shan", or, if it makes your life easier, just call him "Ben." He grew up in Shenzhen, China, and has spent the last five years or so saying that he wants to learn Cantonese. The answers to the questions "when will he finally start?" and "why is this taking him so long?" remain mysteries, even to himself. You can reach out to him at [email protected]
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