Massey College professor resigns over ‘master’ comment to Black student

Historians in the News
tags: racism, Massey College, Michael Marrus



A history professor who made racially offensive remarks to a Black student at the University of Toronto’s Massey College has submitted his resignation as a senior fellow at the school. 

After commenting about the “master” of Massey College to a Black student, Michael Marrus resigned his fellowship Sunday when nearly 200 students and faculty signed a petition demanding that he be removed.

“First, I am so sorry for what I said, in a poor effort at jocular humour at lunch last Tuesday,” Marrus wrote in his resignation letter to college head Hugh Segal. 

“What I said was both foolish and, I understood immediately, hurtful, and I want, first and foremost, to convey my deepest regrets to all whom I may have harmed.”

On Tuesday, Marrus was sitting with three junior fellows — graduate students who earned residence at Massey College through academic and extracurricular achievements — when Segal asked to join them. At the time, Segal’s title was “master” of the college. 

Marrus allegedly said to a Black graduate student: “You know this is your master, eh? Do you feel the lash?”




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