Last summer, the Wisconsin Supreme Court told Marquette University that it couldn’t contractually promise academic freedom to professors and then punish them for using it.
Next door in Minnesota, Augsburg University seemed to recognize that it could face legal peril if it tried to fire a professor on similar grounds.
The private school will allow Phillip Adamo to return to teaching after suspending him for quoting the black author James Baldwin in class. But it appears to be permanently stripping him of his position as director of the honors program.
Academic freedom itself may look different after the administration reviews the faculty handbook. The student bias reporting policy is also undergoing revision, and proposed revisions to general education requirements will emphasize “inclusivity.”
What the public knows about these moves largely comes from the Augsburg Echo, the student newspaper. The administration does not appear to have publicly posted any of the materials referenced in this month’s reports by the Echo, which also didn’t publish them.
Adamo’s public letter to the community, after his punishment was finalized, suggests that he threatened to sue if Augsburg tried to fire him.
None of the players in the controversy, or potentially related to it, are talking about the latest developments publicly.
Adamo and Augsburg media relations did not immediately respond to College Fix queries Monday. Prof. John McAdams, who beat Marquette in court after it tried to fire him for criticizing a colleague, did not respond either.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which previously called on Augsburg to end its inquiry into Adamo, said it was a “mistake” to remove him from the honors program in an update last week.
Read the rest at: Professor