Retired Indian American Professor Accused of Making Derisive Comments

Dr. Ravindra Nanda, a former professor of orthodontics at University of Connecticut, faced multiple allegations of wrongdoing and racial discrimination.


A retired Indian American professor, Dr. Ravindra Nanda, is facing flak for allegedly calling Arab and Muslim resident doctors as members of the Islamic State group. The former professor of orthodontics at University of Connecticut (UConn) Health retired more than a year after a report by UConn Health’s Office of Institutional Equity was issued, the Associated Press recently reported.

According to the report by UConn, Nanda said that the FBI might think he was building an “ISIS cell” since he had many Arab and Muslim doctors in the program. He only permitted North American residents to treat Caucasian patients and once tossed out a job application by a female resident doctor, the report added.

According to the investigation against Nanda, who was born in pre-Independence India, several doctors testified against him and the university found the statements credible. The investigator recommended disciplining Nanda, but it is not known whether that took place. He had allegedly said that the doctors who retaliated against him will face action. Nanda has denied all the allegations.

“At a time when there are enough tensions in the United States, the types of (statements) Nanda made are extremely dangerous. The future medical professionals of America deserve to be respected, educated and employed regardless of their religions, ethnicities and backgrounds,” Shaheer Syed Hassan, a member of the UConn Muslim Student Association, told the Daily Campus.

The findings by two investigators included an incident in which Nanda told two residents, “I guess you guys don’t care about smiles because your women all wear veils” during a cosmetic dentistry class in 2014.

UConn Health Chief Communications Officer Chris Hyers told the Associated Press that adequate action was taken against Nanda. However, Nanda’s lawyer’s statement indicates otherwise. Jacques Parenteau, Nanda’s lawyer, told the news agency that the professor had appealed the findings and there was a confidential resolution, which had nothing to do with his retirement.

“UConn Health does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation in the workplace or its learning environments,” Hyers said in a statement as reported by AP.

Nanda continues to be a professor emeritus at UConn Health.

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