Geoffrey Miller, Visiting NYU Professor, Slammed For Fat-Shaming Obese PhD Applicants

06/04/2013 05:01 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2013

No one is immune to the all-seeing eye of Twitter, not even fat-shaming NYU professors.

Geoffrey Miller, a professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico and a visiting professor at NYU Stern Business School, found this out the hard way over the weekend after sending out a controversial tweet regarding PhD applicants.

The tweet, since deleted but preserved by New York Magazine, read, "Dear obese PhD applicants: If you don't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth."

The backlash was predictably harsh. Jay Rosen, Miller's NYU colleague, was one of several people to call Miller out on his comment, reports The Atlantic. Critics also dug up some of Miller's past opinions on Chinese eugenics, as well as a series of tweets from early May where Miller said if Americans "all ate Paleo diets and did CrossFit, mental and physical health would soar."

"My sincere apologies to all for that idiotic, impulsive, and badly judged tweet. It does not reflect my true views, values, or standards," Miller wrote on Twitter, according to The Atlantic. "Obviously my previous tweet does not represent the selection policies of any university, or my own selection criteria."

An NYU spokesman told The Observer on Monday that the school had no plans to fire the instructor: “What Geoffrey Miller ... said on Sunday on his personal Twitter account was regrettable. Professor Miller apologized for the Tweet and deleted it. NYU considers the matter closed.”

His home university, however, seemed more concerned. In a statement posted to the University of New Mexico's website on Monday, the school noted that administrators and faculty "were sur­prised by Dr. Geof­frey Miller’s tweet." The pronouncement went on to say that the school is "deeply con­cerned about the impact of the state­ment, which in no way reflects the poli­cies or admis­sion stan­dards of UNM" and that "appro­pri­ate action" will be taken following an investigation.

The statement also said Miller had explained his tweet to UNM Psy­chol­ogy Chair Jane Ellen Smith as “part of a research project.”

CORRECTION: This article originally identified Miller's home university as the University of Mexico. It is actually the University of New Mexico.

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