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The Firestorm Over Prof. Maischak



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Fresno State became the latest epicenter of the academic culture wars when Breitbart reported on Saturday about a series of tweets made by a Fresno State instructor. Professor Lars Maischak, a history instructor, tweeted in February about President Trump. Among the tweets the story pointed out:

These tweets also created an amount of criticism:

After the news broke on Saturday, Fresno State responded with a series of statements to the media. From Monday (April 10):

“Fresno State understands the deep concerns that have been shared as a result of personal comments made by Professor Lars Maischak, who is a lecturer in the History Department at Fresno State. In response to these concerns, we have conducted a preliminary review to ensure that it is clear that the statements made by him were as a private citizen, not as a representative of Fresno State.  Professor Maischak’s personal views and commentary, with its inclusion of violent and threatening language, is obviously inconsistent with the core values of our University.

Our primary concern is for the safety of our students and with providing a conducive learning environment. We acknowledge that our faculty have an obligation to establish and maintain ethical and professional conduct, inside and outside of the classroom.

While Fresno State is committed to state and federal constitutional rights of free speech, the content of statements by Dr. Maischak warrants further review and consideration. The review of these and any other statements will be conducted in the context of rights of free expression, but also for potential direct threats of violence that may violate the law.

The University is taking this matter seriously and handling it in accordance with applicable law and policy, as well as our traditions of academic freedom and the requirements of the faculty collective bargaining unit agreement. The University will fully cooperate with any investigations conducted by Federal officials.”

– Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro

On his Twitter account, Maischak identifies himself as “Teaching American History with a German accent at Fresno State” with a link to his university bio.

On the same day as  the release of the Breitbart story, Maischak commented on his Twitter timeline:

On Sunday (April 10), Maischak responded to much of the vitriol he’s received on social media:

According to his university bio, Maischak teaches five U.S. history courses. This semester, his class is History 11: American History to 1877. GV Wire has confirmed he did receive a doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University in 2006. He has lectured at Fresno State since the fall of 2006.

A look at Maischak’s Curriculum Vitae from a 2005 dissertation at Johns Hopkins about German-American sea merchants of the 19th Century:

  • Born in Bremen, Germany in 1970
  • Studied at: Free University of Berlin, Stanford and Johns Hopkins, specializing in history
  • Taught at: Free University of Berlin, Loyola College of Maryland, Johns Hopkins

Maischak is rated as a “good” professor from He earned a 3.6 out of 5.0. Forty percent of the 58 respondents (all but one ranking from before the April 8 Breitbart article) said they would take his class again. His level of difficulty was determined to be a 1.8 out of 5.

Since the January 20 inauguration, these are some selected Maischak tweets:

He also posted a number of memes showing Trump side by side with Adolf Hitler and Andrew Jackson:

Maischak also criticized Obama:

A call today (April 10) to Maischak’s listed office phone rings to a generic Fresno State phone line.


Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.



Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email