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UConn professor apologizes for tweets on students’ test anxiety

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STORRS — A University of Connecticut engineering professor has apologized for questioning whether he should have to accommodate a student suffering from exam-related anxiety.

Jeffrey McCutcheon, an associate professor of chemical engineering, tweeted Sunday that he believed physical disabilities should be accommodated but not “test anxiety.” He complained about students who were given accommodations, such as more time than others to take tests, and questioned whether that would serve them well in the real world.

When another Twitter user pointed out that anxiety was a legitimate disability, he replied that it could be, but that “test anxiety” is not.

“Ive heard so many excuses about being ‘a bad test taker,’ he wrote. “Nope. You are just unprepared. What got me over test anxiety in college was studying my tail off.”

After receiving numerous responses questioning his expertise and explaining the disability, McCutcheon tweeted an apology.

“Thank you for the feedback,” he wrote. “My original tweet here was ill advised and pretty dumb, especially after learning more about what classifies as disability. This tweet was insensitive to many who have disabilities. For that, i apologize.”

McCutcheon repeated the apology in an email to The Associated Press, saying he was wrong and is sorry.

UConn’s engineering department said in a letter to students Monday that the school is fully committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to educational opportunities.

A UConn spokeswoman said the university is aware of the tweets and is reviewing the matter.

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