NYU's administrators have given an ultimatum to the self-proclaimed "deplorable" professor who claims the university forced him to go on leave: admit to having requested a leave of absence or return to work effective immediately.

On Thursday, NYU published a series of emails between Professor Michael Rectenwald and Fred Schwarzbach, NYU's Dean of Liberal Studies. The email thread, which began on November 1st, addressed Rectenwald's repeated claims that the university forced him to go on paid leave after he admitted to running a secret Twitter account under the handle @antipcnyuprof, which Rectenwald later claimed was a “social experiment” designed to point out the flaws in “social-justice-warrior” culture on college campuses.

Rectenwald's secret profile had amassed a small following since he began tweeting on September 12th, but his follower count ballooned from less than 500 to over 3,300 after student newspaper Washington Square News published an interview with him. A week after the initial interview, Rectenwald told the NY Post that he was placed on leave by the university—"They're punishing me for having a different perspective," he said. That same day, NYU Local reported that Rectenwald had requested the leave himself.

After the Post's story was published, Schwarzbach sent an email to Rectenwald in which he said he was "surprised by public accounts" the professor had given for the leave of absence and clarified that Rectenwald had "indicated... a leave from NYU would be a good idea" and "took affirmative steps to make that happen."

Rectenwald assured the dean that he had "represented the leave of absence to media just as it was represented to me" and that journalists didn't believe his explanation. "I cannot help the penchant among reporters for their suspicions," he wrote. But Rectenwald told Gothamist he didn't ask the Post or other outlets to issue a correction.

"I haven't gone back and told them, but they did make mistakes," Rectenwald said. On Twitter, he posted links to stories from the Daily Caller, the Washington Times, Breitbart, and the Post—all of which claimed he was forced to go on leave. "I might post them, but that doesn't mean I believe what they're saying," he said.

On Wednesday, the O'Reilly Factor covered Rectenwald's story. Yesterday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Rectenwald in which he claimed his Twitter account was actually "a misunderstood social experiment."

"Don't get me wrong. I'll take a break and cash the checks," he wrote regarding his leave. "But I didn't present this challenge to the campus community because I wanted a paid vacation."

His latest stunt prompted another email from Schwarzbach, who demanded an explanation.

"Each day brings a different version—the NY Post one day, then recanted the next in the student paper. A private communication one day in which you lay blame at the feet of journalists, then the next an op-ed you yourself authored," Schwarzbach wrote. "Never in all my years as a dean has an effort to support a faculty member been so completely twisted, or so distorted for personal indulgence. Your behavior is dismaying." Schwarzbach continued:

"For us to be clear on your needs, we require you to state unequivocally and in a direct, unambiguous response whether you still need the leave you requested. I expect that answer—whichever you give—to be henceforth the same in all settings. If you cannot do that, at this point, I think I have no choice but to make a decision based on your public utterances, and the leave you requested—apparently under false pretenses—is withdrawn, and you are expected to meet your classes as assigned."

Rectenwald says he wrote back to the dean today saying he "unequivocally" needs the leave of absence "for the reasons given at our meeting," which he refuses to publicly disclose. He told the Washington Square News that he questioned the legality of publishing the exchange online, and that all other communications between himself and the dean had been verbal.

"I guess it's legal to put out emails from people," Rectenwald told Gothamist. "I thought you needed permission to publish people's emails, but I guess not."