Luke Schneider, the Senior Lecturer who made controversial posts about beneficiaries and Covid-19 on Quora, is no longer lecturing at the University of Canterbury. It appears that he is still working for the University as a researcher.
The change comes after Schneider’s controversial posts were brought to the University’s attention and the University said they were “looking into the matter”.
On Thursday 10 September, chemical engineering students received an email stating that “Dr Schneider will not be working at the University of Canterbury after Friday the 11th of September. All teaching and supervision will be covered by other staff in the Chemical and Process Engineering Department.”
Schneider emailed Critic on Wednesday 9 September and said “I am now free to answer questions about this topic”. He did not reply to subsequent questions about what was happening.
Schneider’s staff page, which listed him as a Senior Lecturer, has been deleted from the University’s website. The website now lists Schneider as a researcher at the University. Schneider’s Linkedin profile still lists his job as Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury.
The University of Canterbury declined to comment on this story. On August 27, a University spokesperson said “the University is looking into the matter” and that the “opinions expressed [on Quora] do not represent those of the University of Canterbury”.
Critic first reported on the story when one of Schneider’s students said that his Quora comments displayed “a lack of empathy” and that “it is clear that Luke is the problem, but there should be equal blame put on the department for not standing against his behaviour”.
The comments included Schneider implying that beneficiaries should commit suicide and describing how he would “shoot to kill” in a riot.
On August 20, one week after the story was published, Schneider had deleted almost half of his answers on Quora, leaving only 354. At that point, the site no longer listed the University of Canterbury as his employer. By August 26, his account was completely deactivated.
At that point, a Chemical Engineering student said: “it's hard to tell if the [University] are following proper channels to ensure fairness to everyone involved, or if they're trying to protect their own image or both.”