'So unexpected, and it hasn't really even sunk in'

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Nick Drapela said he loves teaching at Oregon State University.

But his days on campus are numbered.

"An absolute shock," he said. "I had no idea anything like this was coming."

At the end of May, Drapela - a senior instructor of chemistry at Oregon State for 10 years - was told his contract would not be renewed for the next academic year, he told KVAL News.

The university denies that Drapela's doubts about global warming were a factor in the decision.

But they won't tell him why his contract wasn't renewed.

"They did not provide a reason. I asked and they said this isn't the time to talk about it," he said. "I was stunned. Where else do you talk about it but in the office of the person that let you go?"

He said he went all the way to the Vice President of Academic Affairs looking for answers, but got nowhere.

"I'm not trying to challenge anyone, I just want to know," said Drapela.

Now some are taking to blogs speculating he's being let go for being an outspoken skeptic of global warming.

"Certainly I, as much as any other faculty members, have had opinions. And certainly they've never been, as far as I know, anything to cause something like this," Drapela said.

Many students and former students who contacted KVAL News said Drapela is a good professor, and they just don't understand how he could be let go.

"He was just, he was a great professor," said former student Charlene McGrady. "And of all the professors I've had, he's the one I continue to remember. When we were in class he only talked about chemistry."

Vice President of University Relations Steve Clark said the school can't comment on specifics of Drapela's situation.

When asked if letting Drapela go was in response to his views on global warming, Clark said this:

"None whatsoever. The university really doesn't care about an individual's personal views or their personal activities."

Until he gets the answers he's looking for, Drapela is forced to look to the future, something he said has been hard to do.

"I won't be here next year," he said. "It's so unexpected, and it hasn't really even sunk in."