UCLA’s philosophy department canceled in-person classes after a former postdoctoral fellow and lecturer Monday sent a video containing references to a mass shooting and an 800-page manifesto containing “specific threats” to some department members, according to material available to The Times was asked.
An email sent to students Monday night and made available to the Times says Matthew Harris has made threats against the philosophy department and people in the department.
“The footage includes a video titled ‘UCLA Philosophy Mass Shooting’ and an 800-page manifesto detailing threats against some members of our department,” the email said.
“Given that, we will continue to discuss Zoom until authorities say it is safe. I will keep you informed of this situation. But I would avoid being near Dodd Hall or the Philosophy School for the time being.”
Steve Ritea, UCLA’s chief media and executive communications officer, said campus police were “aware of a concerning email and posting that was sent today to some members of the UCLA community who are actively working with out-of-state law enforcement and federal agencies.” “.
Ritea did not provide any further information on Monday evening.
Harris’ YouTube channel has more than 300 videos, most of which were uploaded on Monday.
A video titled “UCLA PHILOSOPHY (MASS SHOOTING)” was released Sunday and contains disturbing imagery, including footage of the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival and clips from the 2003 film “Zero Day,” which is loosely based on it Mass shooting at Columbine High School.
The Times obtained a partial copy of Harris’ email to UCLA’s philosophy department.
Harris refers to race and uses several profanities. He included links to his manifesto and videos, including the video threatening a mass shooting.
“War is coming,” he wrote. “forward dis [expletive] to our golden-haired Caucasus princess.”
In reviews on bruinwalk.com, a website where students can leave anonymous reviews of professors and other staff, two students described Harris’ disturbing and erratic behavior as an instructor.
Harris “is extremely unprofessional and sent his personal pornographic content to a student,” read one review.
In a separate post, another student described his class as their least popular at UCLA “ever” and said many students had complained to the department about his behavior.
The student said Harris changed someone’s grade 43 times after the end of the academic quarter and changed their grade three times.
A spring 2019 newsletter from the philosophy department said Harris would join Duke University as a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy after completing his doctoral thesis.
“He works on the philosophy of race, personal identity and related issues in the philosophy of mind,” the newsletter reads.
This is an evolving story and will be updated.