Cal State East Bay

Outcry Over CSUEB Professor Who Teaches Theory of Race Influencing Intelligence

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An economics professor at Cal State East Bay is getting pushback from fellow faculty and students for teaching a theory that race influences intelligence.

The educator is teaching a theory that certain Black and Hispanic ethnic groups are less intelligent than white Europeans and Northeast Asians, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“I think it’s appalling,” said Nina Haft, theater and dance professor at CSUEB. She believes Professor Gregory Christainsen must go.

“The methods that his findings and his whole framework were based on have been debunked,” Haft said.

Christainsen has written that the average level of intelligence in sub-Saharan Africa is quite low, and that African-American women are overpaid “relative to their cognitive ability,” and that brain size varies along racial lines.

His beliefs drew complaints at this week’s trustee meeting.

Dr. Pascale Guiton, an assistant professor of biology, who has sub-Saharan African descent, was there and takes exception to his theory.

“I was summa cum laude at George State University,” Guiton said. “I received a presidential award at the end, according to American standards. I don’t think I have a lower IQ.”

In an email to the San Francisco Chronicle, Christainsen described his work as uncontroversial, falling within the mainstream of contemporary intelligence research. He also welcomes debate on the topic.

“I don’t know who he was able to perform this type of research on on our campus, with the administration turning a blind and saying this research is meritorious,” said Guiton.

The University released a statement that read, “The statements and views expressed by this faculty member are antithetical to the core values of Cal State East Bay, which is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that values diversity and fosters tolerance and mutual respect.”

NBC Bay Area reached out to Christainsen in several ways and got no response.

“He’s not being censored, but if he’s teaching things that are discriminatory and also unfounded, then he is not doing his job,” said Haft.

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