Photo courtesy Drexel University Media Relations

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A Pennsylvania professor has been summoned to meet with administrators after firing off a controversial tweet wishing for "white genocide".

On his locked Twitter account, Drexel University Professor George Ciccariello-Maher said "All I want for Christmas is white genocide".

The tweet sparked criticism and led the West Philadelphia school's administration to request a meeting with Ciccariello-Maher over the "deeply disturbing" message.

The professor, who is white, told the AP his statement was meant as satire, saying that the term "white genocide" was invented by white supremacists.

The Washington Times reported the tweet was eventually deleted and replaced with a message saying that "white" is not a race.

In a statement posted on the school's website, the administration said it recognizes Ciccariello-Maher's right to free speech but believes his statement does not reflect the values of the university.

Ciccariello-Maher's university biography says he is an expert on Latin American social movements and teaches about "race, racism, prisons and policing."

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