The Tale of Professor X

By Sherryl Kleinman


Once upon a time at a large public university, Professor X created a course. The course was approved by his department and faculty committees on campus and was then scheduled to be taught. But high-level administrators did not like Professor X’s course in part because it examined misbehavior by the university. And so they tried to keep Professor X from teaching his course. Professor X and his colleagues fought back and won, though not everything. This story, based on real events at UNC–Chapel Hill, highlights the need for vigilance and solidarity in resisting threats to academic freedom and shared governance.

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This is an excellent article, very clear and on point. It was a disappointment, but not a surprise, to read the footnote reporting that as a result of these events, the local AAUP chapter was re-energized. Disappointing because there should have been and should be at similar institutions, an on going active AAUP chapter. In my 23 years of organizing for the AAUP, I found all too often that faculty at premier institutions saw no need for an AAUP chapter because there "were not any problems"

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