Academic Freedom Alliance Letter to San Diego State University
SDSU removed Corlett from the classroom after students complained that he had shown a slide with examples of racial epithets in his class on Philosophy, Racism and Justice and his class on critical thinking. His published scholarship has focused on issues of racism and hate speech, and he brought that expertise to bear in his classroom teaching.
Although Corlett does not currently seem to be under investigation for violations of university policy, he has been removed from teaching his classes and will apparently be “reassigned” to teach other classes in the future. The Vice President of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity asserted that such an administrative decision was “not about free expression or academic freedom.” The university administrator is mistaken.
For professors to be removed from their classes because students object to the controversial content of those classes strikes at the heart of academic freedom protections. It violates San Diego State University’s own stated policies that guarantee freedom of teaching to faculty and the freedom of every member of the campus community to express even “offensive speech.”
The university’s actions also violate its obligations under the First Amendment. Notably, the university specifically re
Article from Reason.com