This morning, WTVD reported a story, picked up by national outlets, about an NC State biochemistry professor who made the regrettable mistake that off-color humor always is on college campuses. Charles Hardin couldn’t read a name on a test he was passing back, so he joked that “this is America” and students should “Americanize” their names.

Anyone familiar with the range of accepted speech in higher ed can guess what happened next. Students complained, at least on Facebook, and the administration had a chat with Hardin to control the damage.

Naturally, the professor will apologize, and an anonymous spokesperson is very disappointed in his behavior: “The professor realizes that his statement devalued the heritage of some students and was inappropriate for the classroom or anywhere else on the university’s campus.”

One can only hope the big stink was the result of one spineless student’s hurt feelings and that such righteous indignation is not simmering in the rest of the class.