Notes on Duke Medical’s “mandatory equity training”

Katie Tan:

A Duke professor disputed with department members about mandatory training with the Office for Institutional Equity, calling the modules “left-wing Maoist political propaganda workshops,” according to an email chain among Duke School of Medicine Molecular Genetics and Microbiology department members obtained by The Chronicle. 

On Tuesday, MGM Chief Administrative Officer Kris Matthews informed all department members that OIE and MGM were designing a training module aimed at “helping members of our department be fair and welcoming of individuals who differ in their background,” according to the email. 

“Per School of Medicine guidelines, all faculty are required to attend a session,” the email read. 

Within minutes, Bryan Cullen, James B. Duke distinguished professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, replied to everyone on the email chain. 

“My initial reaction is I refuse to engage in left-wing Maoist political propaganda workshops and, as a tenured faculty, that is my choice,” Cullen wrote in an email reply obtained by The Chronicle. 

Cullen did not respond to multiple requests for comment about his reply or claims made by department members about his past behavior.