Professor accused of falsely claiming Native American ancestry to resign

By Around the Web

Andrea Smith (University of California Riverside)
Andrea Smith (University of California Riverside)

By Harold Hutchison
Daily Caller News Foundation

A professor at a public university in California will resign following accusations that she falsely claimed to have Native American ancestry, according to multiple reports.

Andrea Smith, who teaches ethnic studies at the University of California – Riverside, reached a separation agreement with the college following a complaint filed by 13 professors, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Times noted that questions about Smith’s Native American heritage began circulating since her hiring in 2008, and escalated following the 2015 exposure of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who falsely claimed to be black.

Under the separation agreement, Smith will retain her position as a full-time instructor until August 2024, when she will retire and become a professor emeritus, according to CNN.

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“Professor Smith agrees to not make any affirmative claims of Native American heritage in connection with her University work for the duration of her University employment. However, if asked about her heritage in connection with her University work, Professor Smith is permitted to disclose her opinion on her Native American heritage,” the agreement says, according to the Times.

“This is good news but late news,” University of California, Los Angeles professor David Shorter told the Times after he recounted an instance where Smith shut down a group interested in Native American literature.

Cherokee Nation officials first disputed Smith’s ancestry in 2007, according to the Times.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts claimed to have Native American ancestry during her career as a professor, which drew scrutiny from the media during her campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

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Smith and University of California did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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