A University of Maryland lecturer has resigned after Chinese students accused him of discrimination last fall.
Several Chinese students who took BUAC714: Forensic Accounting/Auditing with David Weber — a lecturer in the business school — said he falsely accused them of cheating on the final exam, and indicated his suspicions were based of their nationality, according to WAMU.
As a result, multiple students filed a formal complaint with the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct about Weber’s behavior. Additionally, an online petition calling for Weber’s removal gained more than 300 signatures.
A university spokesperson confirmed Weber’s resignation in a statement to The Diamondback, but did not specify when Weber resigned.
“When allegations of discrimination are received, they are forwarded for investigation and due process is followed,” the statement read.
A description attached to the petition said Weber “barged unannounced” into colleague Jeffrey Milton’s class and announced that all Chinese students “cheat their way into the U.S. and the University of Maryland.”
Weber’s statement, sent through his lawyer Brian Mahany, disputed the wording of these statements, and said he only referenced nationality because international students face greater consequences for cheating.
Yuqing Lei, a psychology doctoral student, didn’t have any classes with Weber, but created the petition after talking with students who did. She told The Diamondback that when she heard about the allegations and spoke to some of the students, she knew she had to do something to help.
“This is not just racist event, this is not just a discrimination incident — the students were actually threatened,” she said.
Although Lei said she is “relieved” that Weber has resigned, she and the other students want the university to release a formal statement and take necessary steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“The school has not done enough about this incident,” she said. “Students’ parents should know exactly what’s going on.”
Weber told WAMU in February that he thinks “there is a different rule-following and rule-breaking culture between the U.S. and China,” but added that he didn’t want to “label an entire group of students based on nationality as being ‘cheaters.’”
“That isn’t fair to the many Chinese students who don’t cheat,” he said.
Before coming to this university, Weber was employed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and worked as an attorney and private investigator. He also served as the academic director for two of the business school’s graduate certificate programs.
“Academic integrity is paramount,” a university spokesperson wrote in a statement to WAMU. “Reported accusations of cheating or racial discrimination in the classroom are investigated, and neither is tolerated.”