Professor Ken Howell teaches (or rather, taught) a class on Catholicism at the University of Illinois. In that class, evidently the topic of homosexuality came up and Prof Howell said he agree with the Church’s teaching. A student (who remains anonymous) had a friend file a complaint for him and continues to remain anonymous, and Prof. Howell was fired.
According to the rules of Academic Freedom, scholars have the freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts related to their class without fear of losing their job or being arrested. However, they must avoid controversial matter that is unrelated to the subject.
So why was Professor Howell fired?
Here is Dr. Howell’s reply.
I understand the Alliance Defense Fund has taken Dr. Howell’s case.
1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure states that, “Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject.”
Hmm….hate crime? Well, the US Supreme Court has also consistently upheld that academic freedom is a First Amendment right.
Want to do something? We can contact the University of Illinois’ Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to complain.
The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church’s teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.
The professor, Ken Howell of Champaign, has taught at the university for nine years. He says his firing violates his academic freedom.
A professor at the university who is also president of the American Association of University Professors agrees. Cary Nelson says teachers are allowed to express their own beliefs.
University spokeswoman Robin Kaler declined comment because Howell’s firing is a personnel issue.
The student had a friend register his complaint and has remained anonymous.
Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com