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NYU Responds to Claims by James Franco's Professor - Exclusive

NYU Responds to Claims by James Franco's Professor - Exclusive

NYU is speaking out against allegations made by one of its former professors.

Jose Angel Santana recently filed a lawsuit against the university in an effort to get his job back. He claimed he was fired for giving James Franco a ‘D’ in his “Directing the Actor” class.

John Tintori, chair of Tisch’s graduate film program, just released a letter to students in response to the claims. JustJared.com exclusively obtained the statement before it was sent out on Thursday (December 22).

Click inside to read John Tintori’s statement…

“Dear Grad Film Students,

A number of you have recently come to me with questions arising from this week’s news. I thought it would be beneficial to bring a little clarity.

The most prominent allegation – that Jose Angel Santana was fired because of a grade he gave a student – is false. Professor Santana has not been fired; like other assistant arts professors, he had a three-year contract – which is still in force, and under which he is still being paid – and Tisch [School of the Arts] chose not to renew that contract. The non-renewal of his contract had nothing to do with any grade he assigned to any student, nor did it have anything to do with his ethnicity, which he also claims.

It is not appropriate for me to go into the details of the review that led to the school’s decision not to renew Professor Santana’s contract; these are private personnel matters. But I do have a few additional thoughts I want to share.

Every student in the University is entitled to privacy regarding his or her academic records. Public disclosure of confidential student information by any faculty member is a violation of our community standards as well as the trust forged among teachers and learners in this department. I want to assure all students that the disregard for these standards is not representative of the Graduate Film faculty and will not be tolerated.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break.

Best wishes for a happy and productive New Year!

- John”

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46 Comments

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# 1

I’m not a huge Franco fan but as a teacher I am appalled this professor made his grade public knowledge, assuming that was his grade and this jerk isn’t lying. NOW he should be fired. What an idiot.

# 2

Lets be honest here. James talks about his education in most interviews and NYU loves that. If he doesn’t come to class like the other students the professor has the right to treat him like any other person. I don’t agree with making the grade known to public, but I also dont agree with him being fired for now bowing down to a celeb.

# 3
alex krycek @ 12/22/2011 at 1:25 am

agreed. the prof could have made the same claim and just said he thinks he his contract was not renewed because of a grade he gave a student. he did not have to reveal specifically what that grade was.
easy enough.

# 4

yeah it shldnt have been made public but i read that he doesnt even show up and sends an assistant to take notes during class… aaand this is a total cover up. celebs have more power than we know (and more power than they should).

# 5
iheartbsb @ 12/22/2011 at 1:34 am

@sarah: money & fame, that’s what it’s all about. it’s pretty sad that that’s so important to people (see people who have over 300 “friends” on facebook, “youtube stars etc). to humans who only have the capacity to live about 100 years. we’re a blip in time & in the universe and what matters is $ & fame. nuff said.

# 6

this whole issue is a great eye opener for many to realize the power of celebrity .. like it or not but these celebs sway most of us in many ways..

# 7

I think Franco said the grade already, to the media, pretty much mocking the professor. It was already public when the lawsuit was filed.

# 8
pippamippa @ 12/22/2011 at 2:58 am

my friend at ucla had class with him and she said he rarely shows up and when he does, he either sleeps in class or hits on girls. i do think nyu gives their celebs leniency in a lot of areas because it brings publicity to the school. when ucla wanted franco to speak at commencement, a lot of people at ucla were definitely appalled. he doesn’t deserve it, but they wanted him to because it would be in the news for days. blahh

# 9

Always knew he wasn’t as clever as he made out. Dude was sleeping in class and he missed 12 out of 14 classes. Of course he got a d

@<a href@Kay: To be fair Franco brought up the grade in an interview first. Its on youtube and he’s subtly implying that the lecturer has a problem with his success- the dude interviewing him is the one who speaks up to this but franco does (again subtly) take the piss out of the lecturer for a project he did when he was younger. Bottom line Lecturer was out Franco was in, he began teaching at NYU

Jonny Rap @ 12/22/2011 at 5:02 am

This **** makes me miss Tisch.

rich people think they can get everything with money… and they do.

WICKED WENCH @ 12/22/2011 at 7:19 am

You know what you get at my university if you miss half the number of classes? A big, fat F. F. F. F.

Celebrities don’t get into ivy league colleges because they’re smart; they get in because they’re rich.

@Kay:
he didn’t make it public! the gossip sites made it public after getting this info from the lawsuit.

fox mulder @ 12/22/2011 at 8:47 am

thing is, is NYU is already established as a great film school so i dont really getting ‘publicity’ or any kind of cred from any actor.
maybe im not getting something with that.

@fox mulder: yes but people see that james franco attends and they want to sign up. it is a publicity thing. the same way rich kids are accepted to ivy league schools over ppl who actually have the smarts for it.

i hope he has to pay all the legal fees back to the college if he loses. I’m surprise this media ***** didn’t hire Gloria A.

The Dean’s letter does not reveal much other than the grade disclosure. But, to my knowledge’ the prof. did that only after his contract was not renewed (this is ‘firing’ in academia). Was Santana a bad teacher? Was he not publishing enough good papers? These are the considerations that should go into a non-renewal decision. Dean is silent about all those issues.

TMZ evidently with their blood hounds on the job got ahold of the law suit papers and that is why everyone now knows that Franco was given a D. Not the professors fault at all.

Anyhow, if Franco phoned in his coursework like he did his hosting of the last year’s Academy Awards, then he probably really deserved an F instead of a D.

faywray123 @ 12/22/2011 at 1:33 pm

@Kay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9Nmf-Chm1w. Public knowledge, where you been?

faywray123 @ 12/22/2011 at 2:04 pm

@Kay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9Nmf-Chm1w. “Kay,” this has been public knowledge. Where have you been?

Since when do they take role in a masters program? My Professors could care less who is there on any given day. All I am required to do is complete assignments and pass tests. I borrow notes from friends in class if I ‘m not there or fall asleep. Also, record most lectures when I do attend. Somebody seems to be money hungery.

james is a busy actor…if he did the work he should of gotten a higher grade…so what if he only showed up to 2 class.. as long as he did the work it shouldn’t really matter

ClearPerspective @ 12/22/2011 at 3:07 pm

Film School is OVERATED.

Franco, if u can’t attend class then don’t sign up for the class, you deserve to get an F not a D because u didn’t do anything for that class….or is it that because you’ve been in some movies you only need to sign up to get credit for those classes???

even if it was a community college in a small town, if u don’t work for the class u signed up, you shouldn’t get ANY credit for it.

and i like u as an actor, but its really not fair for other students who actually attend every class and do what is expected from them.

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