Severe punishments were doled out by the Rutgers University to New Jersey professor, who posted anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook page, according to reports. Michael Chikindas was a professor in the food science department since 1998 — earning tenure in 2007 — and also served as the director of the Center for Digestive Health at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, Fox News reported. 

Chikindas was accused of posting a series of racist posts on his social media page, including notions in which he blamed the Armenian genocide on the Jews and called Judaism “the most racist religion in the world.” In addition, he made several derogatory comments on Israel, women and homosexuality.

Although he initially claimed his Facebook account had been hacked and various posts were shared without his approval, he later admitted many of the racist cartoons and images were indeed posted by him.

The university announced Chikindas will be suspended from his post as the director and will not be allowed to teach required classes. He will also need to undergo cultural sensitivity training and will be "subject to ongoing monitoring if and when he returns to the classroom."

Chikindas told NJ.Com in October he refused to be branded an anti-Semite, blaming Facebook mediators instead for allowing racist posts to be put up by other people on social media. He claimed he should not be held accountable because he merely shared some of those posts on his page.

“I do not identify myself as anti-Semite,” Chikindas said. “It is my lifelong credo that all people are born equal regardless of their ethnicity, religion and wealth. I am equally intolerant to all forms of racism, without any exclusions. The pictures I shared from other Facebook pages were not removed by the Facebook mediators which made me think they are not violating any rules while raising a question of possible racist nature of Zionism.”

Back in November, Rutgers University president Robert Barchi mentioned during a student government-sponsored town hall meeting if a professor of the institution wishes to express anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim sentiments, they are free to do so because their speech was protected by “academic freedom.”

“We are faced with the difficult challenge to thread the needle on free speech and academic freedom,” he said, Fox News reported. “I just ask you to keep in mind when you hear things and those things get picked up…there is very often a back-story to it.”

He further added Chikindas’ racist posts do not warrant a legal action from the university unless there is definitive proof his posts harm the sanctity of the institution.

“But the question is: Does having posted that create an environment in his work that would compromise his ability to teach or to do research?” Barchi said. “That’s an employment issue, so we are actually investigating him.”

Following the latest action taken by the university, Barchi changed his stance on the subject.

“This has been a sad and deeply troubling situation for our students and our staff, and for our faculty, who stand for much nobler values than those expressed by this particular professor,” Barchi said in a statement.

“While the university is and should always be a place that challenges students to grapple with complex and even controversial ideas, this situation has threatened the trust between professors and students that is a prerequisite to learning,” he added. “It is our hope that we can navigate these difficult conversations together and that, having been tested by these challenges, we can emerge stronger and with renewed appreciation of our common bonds.”

The university is seeking additional disciplinary action through procedures detailed by Appendix H of the collective bargaining agreement with its faculty union.