History professor suspended for profane semester introduction video

The 14-minute video has amassed more than a quarter of a million views

Barry Mehler has been a professor at Ferris since 1988. Ferris State University via WayBack

On Sunday, tenured history professor Dr. Barry Mehler introduced himself and the new semester in a profane video he posted to YouTube saying, “Welcome to the new season of my show, more bad news.”

The 14-minute video has amassed more than a quarter of a million views and covered everything from Mehler’s grading policy, based on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, stating he’s already chosen and assigned grades at random for students, to the attendance policy, stating students could succeed based on Canvas alone.

He also included a profanity-laden soliloquy adapted from “Deadwood” to describe his plagiarism policy. 

Mehler, who is 74 years old, expressed his concern for teaching face-to-face amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID has already killed one of every 100 Americans over the age of 60. In other words, whatever you think of the risk of COVID, I live in a very different world. My risk is much greater than yours.”

Dr. Mehler was placed on paid leave by the University on Tuesday after complaints were lodged over the video.

“I was shocked and appalled by this video. It is profane, offensive, and disturbing and in no way reflects our University or its values,” President David Eisler said in a media statement.

This is a developing story. The Torch will release more articles as information becomes available.