Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is WWU drama professor provocative, or an abusive bully?

Local News | Is WWU drama professor provocative, or an abusive bully? | Seattle Times Newspaper, June 9, 2009. The insults and epithets quoted in the article strike me as abusive, although the professor say they're just part of his teaching style and his counsel argues that they are protected by academic freedom.

In 2005 faculty disciplinary board at Western Washington University suspended him for two quarters. That decision was upheld by the Whatcom County Superior Court. And now Division 1 of the Court of Appeals remands for a new hearing:

We hold that the University did not violate Mills’s employment contract, that the Faculty Code of Ethics is not unconstitutionally vague, and that the University did not violate Mills’s free speech rights. However, we also hold that the University violated the
Administrative Procedure Act by conducting Mills’s disciplinary hearing in secret. Accordingly, we vacate the University’s Final Order and remand to the University for a new hearing.
Mills v. Western Wash. Univ. (Div. 1, May 26, 2009).


Spartacus O'Neal said...

Professor Mills is in the unfortunate position of saying what he thinks, which no doubt makes his politically-correct colleagues uncomfortable. While it might be acceptable to mock morons like Condoleeza Rice for giving affirmative action a bad name, it is somehow not OK to ridicule liberals who are equally stupid. So it goes.

Spartacus O'Neal said...

Western's legal counsel did not make a mistake, she made an example. As a state attorney, following the Administrative Procedures Act is one of the first things taught in law school. Her harping on the faculty handbook is merely a means of throwing up flack to confuse the issue. But she is just a mouthpiece for the trustees, doing their bidding to silence a whistle-blower. By making an example of Professor Mills, they have clearly signaled other faculty that criticizing the top brass will be severely punished.