Florida Gulf Coast University unveiled a new course set to be taught in the upcoming spring semester titled "White Racism." 

The three-unit course "will interrogate the concept of race; examine the racist ideologies, laws, policies, and practices that have operated for hundreds of years to maintain white racial domination over those racialized as non-white; and discuss ways to challenge white racism and white supremacy toward promoting an anti-racist society where whiteness is not tied to greater life chances," according to the course description. 

The course quickly filled its maximum occupancy of 50 students but sparked controversy within the Fort Myers campus. The "provocative" title made some uncomfortable, but the course's professor, Dr. Ted Thornhill, said he would not dismiss the necessity of the course. 

"I think that students will be excited to learn about this. The description is very clear and direct and so they can see what we are going to talk about," Thornhill said Monday in a USA Today report. "The thing is, nobody said it wasn't OK to be white. I am saying, 'It's not OK to be a white racist.' There is a big difference."

Thornhill is an assistant professor of sociology at the university and is currently teaching a fall course titled Race and Law Enforcement. Prior to his work at FGCU, Thornhill worked at Earlham College in Indiana and St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Along with his focus on sociology, Thornhill has dedicated many courses to African American studies. 

This is not the first time the sociology professor was put in the spotlight on the FGCU campus. Just over a year ago, Thornhill brought the university's administration's attention to an offensive racial slur drawn on a classroom whiteboard. The drawing included a stick figure hanging from a tree with the phrase "KILL N******". 

"Yes, in the interest of the safety and security of the black members of the FGCU community, of which I am a member, I shared the public police report and image with a few colleagues and my students," Thornhill said in a 2016 report

News of the drawing quickly spread across campus, which later ignited a protest of nearly 250 students, faculty and staff, including Thornhill. It was said by fellow protestors that Thornhill started a "movement" within the campus. 

entrance-banner New spring course offered at Florida Gulf Coast University titled, "White Racism". Photo: FGCU 360