You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Lecturer Stuart Reges claims he’s been stripped of computer science teaching duties, admin denies

  • Updated
  • 2
  • 2 min to read
news_file.png

Stuart Reges, a controversial principal lecturer in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, said in an article published Saturday that he has been stripped of his primary teaching duties.

In an email, administration spokesperson Victor Balta denied this claim, saying Reges was reappointed through June 2021 and that his teaching duties remain the same.

"To be clear, Stuart is not being punished; he has not been demoted or placed on probation," Balta wrote.

Reges, who has taught introductory computer science courses that boast some of the biggest class sizes on campus, wrote on the website Quillette that when his three-year appointment came up for review last month, the school decided not to let the 15-year UW veteran continue teaching and instead gave him a “highly unusual one-year probationary appointment.” 

Instead, Balta writes that Reges' management responsibilities have changed.

"We are revamping the way we manage the intro courses," Balta wrote. "The new approach will be team-based, directly engaging Stuart, other lecturers, and tenure-track faculty in guiding the future of the courses. The duration of Stuart’s latest reappointment will give us an opportunity to evaluate how the transition in management structure and other changes are progressing after one year."

Balta writes that this was communicated to Reges when he was reappointed.

Meanwhile, Reges says in his article that in his time at the university, he has never seen a regular lecturer get anything less than a three-year appointment.

Reges, who says he was fired from Stanford in 1991 for protesting the war on drugs, has drawn attention in the last couple years following a series of controversial statements dating back to his June 2018 article entitled “Why Women Don’t Code.” 

The article, one of the most read on the site that year, argued that, instead of stemming from institutional bias, the gender gap in the software engineering field is due mostly to the idea that “women are less likely than men to want to major in computer science and less likely to pursue a career as a software engineer.”

The arguments of the article drew the attention of the Canadian psychologist and self-proclaimed “traditionalist” Dr. Jordan Peterson, who posted the article on his Twitter, making it blow up online. 

Several researchers pointed out problems with Reges’ logic and a group of Allen School graduate students wrote that the issue goes beyond bad science.

“The public visibility of these views, expressed by the primary gatekeeper to a highly selective CS program, poses an urgent problem for a school invested in increasing the inclusion of underrepresented students,” they wrote in August 2018.

The Allen School also put out a statement disagreeing with Reges’ conclusions. The school wrote in June 2018 that the enrollment of women in computer science programs was steadily increasing over the previous decade.

Reges, winner of the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011, believes the decision he sees as a demotion stems at least in part from the controversy he created with the June 2018 article. He argues that this move reflects a broader attack on conservatives on campus.

Ahead of the December review of his position at the university, students shared concerns with the dean of the College of Engineering, writing that Reges “has a profoundly negative impact on the student experience.” 

Reges received mostly “very good” and “excellent” ratings on evaluations for his two large CSE 143 lectures in spring quarter.

Reges, who is white, again drew the ire of students after an April 2019 confrontation he had with a student at the Affirmative Action Bake Sale hosted by the UW College Republicans. He said that he didn’t see “rampant racism” on campus during the conversation, which some took as a denial of ongoing racism.

Reach news editor Jake Goldstein-Street at news@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet

Like what you’re reading? Support high-quality student journalism by donating here.

(2) comments

pschaeffer

Hysteria about "white supremacy" is the McCarthyism of our time (with no help from Joe Stalin). From "reds under the bed" we have gone to "white supremacists under the bed". Guess what? It ain't real. The richest ethnic groups in America are non-white. "White supremacy" is a useful myth however. One of the characteristics of our time is that hysteria is frequently inversely related to the facts. In China under Mao, "capitalist roaders" were supposedly everywhere and subverting everything. At that time, the number of actual "captialist roaders" (outside of jails and death camps) was around zero. China has vast number of very real "capitalist roaders" these days, but no hysteria. Hitler was hysterical about the supposedly omnipotent "Jews". The power of penniless refugees is not apparent to me. Hitler knew better. Not to be outdone, Stalin had his "doctors plot" (also involving Jews) and his famous show trials. Khrushchev admitted that it was all a fraud. Now we have "white supremacy" and "racists under the bed". The very magnitude of the mania shows how false it is. The dominants ideology of our time is "diversity" (really racial quotas). For ever real Klan sympathizer, America has 100 (or 1000) "diversity" fanatics determined to find the "reds under the bed" (make that "racists under the bed"). Racism is very powerful in America, PC racism that is. Just the facts. Let’s try college admissions. Quote “How much harder is it for an Asian-American applicant? Mr. Zhao and the complaint cite 2009 research by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade that found an Asian-American student must earn an SAT score 140 points higher than a white student, 270 points higher than a Hispanic and 450 points higher than an African-American, all else being equal. So if a white applicant scored 2160 on the SAT, lower than last year’s Harvard average, an Asian-American would need to hit 2300, well into the 99% percentile, to have an equal chance at getting in.” So racism is actually quite real in the U.S. Anti-Asian racism is pervasive and profound. If “white racism” and "white supremacy" were even trivially real, whites would be the richest group. The truth is otherwise and the numbers aren’t even close. Average family income for Indian Americans ($107,390), Jews ($97,500), Taiwanese ($85,566), all Asians ($74,245) is greater than Whites ($59,698). As can you see, non-white ethnic groups are at the top and Jews earn (far) more than non-Jewish whites. "White supremacy" is a useful myth however. Don't give it up.

MadelineMardigan

If you find it necessary to go crying aboyt something you didn't like hearing that wasn't overtly nasty then you have no business being in high education or even being on the internet because you aren't mature enough. Grow up

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.