FreeU covers topics and current events in higher education, with emphasis upon Southern Illinois University (SIU). This site is open to a wide range of viewpoints. Just be respectful. Think of it as a big free speech zone.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
New Firing Line: Sexual Harassment as Excuse to Fire Faculty
From East Georgia College: the latest in a string of cases involving abuse of the "sexual harassment" codes. These codes can be used to expel students later found to be innocent (see my previous blog entry) or terminate faculty for speaking out against "sexual harassment" codes that lack due process.
All too often, the accused is guilty-until-proven-innocent. Even then, students and faculty can still be thrown off campus because the administration doesn't feel they will make for a "comfortable environment." Oh, no, we can't have tenure-track faculty criticizing our administrative czars, especially if they wrap the Star Chamber with sweet sounding rhetoric about an "institutional commitment to a harassment-free campus." Offering a different viewpoint thus constitutes harassment itself!
Thank God for the lawyers at FIRE and ACLU local chapters. This is also an issue being fought by the Faculty Association. It is a battle against university lawyers who err on the side of being overprotective of those who might be harassed. This buys them, in their way of thinking, some legal insurance against lawsuits that claim they didn't "do enough." FIRE, ACLU, FA help level the legal battlefield.
Born in Burlington, Vermont from a long line of New Englanders. Trekked westward for my PhD (Ohio State) and now teaching even further west and south at the home of the Salukis: Southern Illinois University Carbondale.