News Story

In Obscene Video, Ferris State Professor Tells Students Final Grades Assigned Randomly

Editor’s note: Warning. This story contains many profanities. This story was altered to include more context on the video. One video that was online was made private. A longer version of a video had been added to this story that was available as of Jan. 13, 12:40 a.m.

A Ferris State University professor sent a profanity-laced video to his students, calling them “c--ksuckers” and telling them their grades would be determined before they walked into the class. It was, he said, a system based on a particular Christian doctrine.

The professor said, “There is absolutely nothing you can do, you have no control over your grade. It doesn’t matter how f------ hard you work or how good your grades are, my grading system is based on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. I figure if it was good enough for Americans, it was good enough for me.” Later in the longer video, the professor contradicts his profane rant and tells students that all the material they need to get an A grade is available to them online.

The professor’s four-plus minute rant was uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 12. Another longer version was uploaded on Jan. 9.

In the video, the professor states some of his obscene monologue was taken from a scene from the TV show Deadwood, specifically use of the word “c--ksuckers” and then he inserts his own dialogue to it. He then asks if his adaption of the Deadwood scene is considered plagiarism. He then tells the students it could be considered plagiarism and they could be expelled if committed plagiarism at Ferris State.

Ferris State University released a statement; it said it “is aware of a course video distributed to students, in early January, by a faculty member believed to be Professor Barry Mehler. The faculty member has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Ferris State’s profile page for Mehler lists him as a history professor. It also lists him as the director of the Institute for the Study of Academic Racism and the director of the Shoah Institute.

FSU President David Eisler provided the following statement: “I was shocked and appalled by this video. It is profane, offensive and disturbing and in no way reflects our University or its values.”

In the video, Mehler said: “None of you c--ksuckers are good enough to earn an A in my class. So I randomly assign grades before the first day of class. I don’t want to know s--- about you. I don’t even want to know your name. I just look at the number and I assign a grade. That is how predestination works. And don’t come f------ complaining to me. Take your complaints to God. He ordained this system, not me.” He then goes on to talk about his attendance policy.

He also said as part of his Deadwood adaption, “I work in a paid f------ union job and no limber-dick c--ksucker of an administrator is going to tell me how to teach my classes. Because I’m a f------ tenured professor.”

He then added this line to the end of what he describes as his soliloquy, which is not taken from Deadwood, “So if you want to go to complain to your dean, f--- you, go ahead, I’m retiring at the end of this year and I couldn’t give a flying f--- any longer. You people are just vectors of disease to me and I don’t want to be anywhere near you. So keep your f------ distance.”

Mehler didn't immediately respond to an email sent to his work email.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.