A visiting math professor was removed from the Lehigh University classroom last month following an anonymous complaint that alleged the professor was posting racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic content from an anonymous Twitter account.
Visiting assistant professor Brian Klatt, ‘13G, is no longer teaching certain sections of Calculus II and Calculus I, Part A, and Lehigh director of media relations Lori Friedman confirmed in an email that Klatt is no longer employed by the university.
As of Nov. 8, Klatt’s profile is still on the math department website, where it says he is on “administrative leave.” On Lehigh’s course registration system, Klatt is no longer listed as the instructor for either course.
“We can confirm that certain social media posts were recently brought to the University’s attention from an anonymous source and the situation is being reviewed,” Friedman said in an email. “We are not able to share additional information as to any personnel matters. We encourage anyone who has concerns to contact Lehigh’s Equal Opportunity Compliance Coordinator, Karen Salvemini.”
The Brown and White also received a tip from an anonymous source. In an email, the source attached a 26-page document compiling screenshots of more than 50 tweets from an anonymous Twitter account with the handle @DumbGeometer — an account created in December 2015.
Additionally, the document drew numerous correlations between specific references in certain tweets to activities and events occurring at Lehigh when Klatt would have been present as student. Klatt earned his master’s degree in mathematics from Lehigh in 2013 and his doctorate in mathematics in 2018.
The document also highlighted tweets with specific references to activities, courses and a classroom number referenced by the Twitter account when Klatt was teaching.
Finally, the document also pointed out similarities between @DumbGeometer and Klatt. Klatt and @DumbGeometer studied the same math theories, received their doctorates in the same month and year and both produced math YouTube videos.
The Twitter account has since been deleted, though several of the posts included in the document could still be viewed in search engine web caches at the time of this report.
The Brown and White cannot confirm if the account was run by Klatt, nor would university officials confirm if the document sent by the anonymous source was the same tip they received. The document was sent to The Brown and White by the anonymous source on Oct. 15, consistent with the timeline of Klatt’s removal from the classroom.
A student in Klatt’s Calculus II class told The Brown and White that the former visiting assistant professor was removed abruptly from the course and has not taught since Oct. 15.
Some of Klatt’s former colleagues also received the document.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Klatt worked at Rutgers from the fall of 2018 to the spring of 2021. In an email, John Cramer, Rutgers’ director of public and media relations, confirmed Klatt’s former employment.
Corrine Yap, a math doctoral student at Rutgers was a graduate teaching assistant for one of Klatt’s linear algebra courses in the spring of 2019.
She said she had seen the @DumbGeometer Twitter account interacting with people she knew and followed.
She said the same document that The Brown and White received allegedly connecting Klatt to the account was sent to a few people in the Rutgers math department, including herself on Oct. 14.
Klatt did not respond to multiple requests for comment.