Sac State computer science associate professor ‘held by the shoulders and escorted’ from Calaveras Hall

Weide Chang on leave, university says


Madeleine Beck

Note left on door of computer science associate professor’s Weide Chang office in Riverside Hall, alerting students of his leave of absence. The university said he was intercepted on his way to class Wednesday, Feb 19.

Madeleine Beck and Kylie Robison

Sacramento State computer science associate professor Weide Chang is on leave after being escorted out by two men on his way to class Wednesday, sources said.  

“Wednesday afternoon a faculty member was intercepted on the way to teach a scheduled class, which was subsequently canceled,” Sac State Public Information Officer Anita Fitzhugh said in an email regarding Chang’s leave.

Fitzhugh said the department is in the process of finding a finalized solution to continue class instruction. 

“The statement is all that can be provided due to confidentiality laws,” Fitzhugh said when asked to confirm the reason behind Chang’s leave.

RELATED: Men who escorted Sac State associate professor out of Calaveras Hall identified as university administrators

A sign is currently posted to Chang’s door reading, “Professor Weide Chang is on leave of absence. Additional information is available at the Computer Science Department office.”

Story continues below Instagram post.

Sac State computer science major Kaleb Bello said he was walking behind Chang into Calaveras Hall — where the CSC137 class is located — when he saw two men waiting for the associate professor. 

“They kind of just held him by the shoulders and escorted him down the hall,” Bello said.

He said he then went to class, where other students were already waiting for class to begin.

“The department chair comes in and says that (Chang) will no longer be teaching and that we have to stand by,” Bello said.

A Sac State student also posted on the CSUS subreddit that his professor was taken out of class suddenly on Wednesday and that the class was told Chang would no longer be their professor. 

Weird experience today, my computer science professor got escorted away and our department chair came and said we no longer have a professor for this class,” the student wrote in the post.

Students commenting below the original Reddit post said they were under the impression this associate professor was Chang. 

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Professor escorted away from class and no longer be teaching at the university from r/CSUS

Administrative Support Coordinator Veronica Pruitt in the College of Engineering and Computer Science sent out an email addressing the incident on Thursday at 8:34 a.m,

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Screenshot via email.

“All sections of CSC/CPE 159 are canceled for (Thursday). Please keep an eye on your emails for further communication. We apologize for the inconvenience,” the email said. 

Chang was the only professor teaching those class sections.

Lorenzo Smith, the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, also confirmed that Chang is on leave.

Further information was provided through the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Kevan Shafizadeh, for students concerned about their credit. 

Shafizadeh said it is in the students’ best interest to stay in the class, as they will be replacing Chang. If students wish to drop the class, he said, the university will extend the withdrawal deadline so students will not receive a “W” on their transcript.

An anonymous student in a Sac State engineering and computer science Discord chat told The State Hornet that students planned to “camp outside” the engineering and computer science office on the second floor of Riverside Hall to protest the lack of transparency regarding Chang’s leave. 

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Screenshot via Discord.

They ultimately decided not to camp out after receiving satisfactory information through the engineering and computer science office, the anonymous source said.

Chang did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Additional reporting by Margherita Beale, Vince Castellana, Kendra Rivera-Molina and Brooke Uhlenhop.

CORRECTION: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

A previous version of the story incorrectly identified the building the assistant professor was  Alpine Hall. The building he was escorted out of was Calaveras Hall.