“Ole Miss Dismisses Professor Who Complained About Department Chair”
FIRE sent a letter to the University of Mississippi today calling for “a full and transparent account” of why the university decided not to renew the contract of assistant history professor Garrett Felber and asking the institution to reconsider its decision.
Felber, a public critic of Ole Miss’ record on racial equity issues, has taught at Ole Miss for four years…. The administration’s notice letter cites Felber’s reluctance to have a real-time conversation with his supervisor. But, as FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program Director Adam Steinbaugh notes in our letter, Felber was being called to have that conversation to discuss his exercise of his First Amendment rights:
Felber’s nonrenewal arose in the context of his public criticism. Indeed, his supervisor cited that public criticism as a basis for seeking to have a meeting with him. Accordingly, the University’s nonrenewal decision necessarily arises from his protected expression[.]
Second, the recommendation of nonrenewal, initiated by a supervisor publicly criticized by Felber, stands in stark contrast to her public praise of Felber less than four mo
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