BC professor faces possible termination


File Photo

Professor Matthew Garrett Speaking at BC in 2019

Anthony Vasquez, Editor-in-Chief

Update (April 17): An April 15 Facebook comment by Matthew Garrett’s wife, Jennifer, indicated that he received an email notice that his contract was terminated on April 14.

After a contentious meeting at the Kern Community College District on April 13, a decision still has not been made—or at least publicly announced— about whether tenured history professor Matthew Garrett will be fired.

This comes after a multipage “Statement of Charges” was submitted to the district concerning Garrett’s actions.

At the start of week 9 of the current semester, all of Garrett’s classes were reassigned to other BC professors. BC student Stevie Ferguson was in one of those classes.

“Professor Garret was an amazing teacher… I’m not sure what happened as to why he is no longer our teacher.”

The district cited multiple incidents in its statement of charges that include Garrett filing dozens of complaints against fellow faculty and other members of the BC community as well as trying to willfully defy COVID protocols in 2021.

It started in 2019 when Garrett accused other professors and the school of misappropriating grant funds. Those claims were found to be baseless.

Garrett continues to contend that his actions fall under First Amendment protections.

In 2019, the Rip covered one of Garrett’s campus presentations that sparked a lot of controversy.

Garrett had both supporters and detractors at the meeting. His wife, Jennifer Garrett, professor of music and director of choral studies at BC, spoke about Garrett’s kindness and humanity toward her as she faced significant health struggles.

Student Cloey Griffiths, who withdrew from one of Garrett’s fall classes, said “As a native woman I was expecting to expand my knowledge of my people’s culture from a self-proclaimed expert, instead, I was faced with the theologies and explanations that directly go against my heritage. Not only was this insensitive to the culture I call my own but I was also faced to learn things I didn’t believe and that went against my ancestors. As a result, I felt compelled to drop the class with a W despite wanting to maintain a perfect transcript and to save my sanity.”

The Rip reached out to several people and offices, including Garrett and human resources, for comment on this matter. But there was no response.