Faculty at Hamline in St. Paul, MN called for the university’s president to resign after the firing of an adjunct professor who displayed ancient paintings depicting the prophet Muhammad.
Dr. Erika López Prater showed an image of Muhammad during an October art history class, which Hamline administration called “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic,” St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Administration decided not to renew Prater’s contract, leading to the professor’s dismissal.
Faculty voted 71 to 12 Tuesday in favor of a statement calling for President Fayneese Miller’s resignation, according to Fox 9.
“The sentiment was that President Miller is not the person right now to bring us back to where we were with our reputation,” professor and president of the Faculty Council Jim Scheibel told Fox 9.
The statement affirmed the staff’s commitment to academic freedom and responsibility to foster an inclusive learning environment, the Star Tribune reported.
They also rejected the accusations of Islamophobia directed at the professor and called for “due process for all Hamline community members.”
Last week, Prater filed a lawsuit for defamation, religious discrimination and breach of contract. In response, Miller and Board of Trustees Chair Ellen Watters admitted the mishandling of the firing, stating that “sometimes we misstep,” according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
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As a faculty at a university, academic freedom is very important. There should be no censoring in Higher Education, so long as the content is relevant to the subject matter that is taught. Problems arise when administrators interfere in the classroom.
Hard to believe the President and Board are still employed. What a disgrace!!