Academic Freedom: Suspension Retrospective II

This is the major, two-page graphic filled (print version) article on my suspension and how I have fought to continue my mission of conflict resolution and the avoidance of war.

There were some errors in this otherwise artful and comprehensive article.

1) No it was not Cadet Kurpiel who generated the email with friends and families; it was the cadet wing of the USAF that sent me dozens of email and then they sent it to their family and friends and then it escalated into a national witch-hunt. I did not know there were that many cadets and I wish I could have answered all of them. They were great e-mails and a rare opportunity to interact with academy students.

2) I was suspended with barely four weeks, not six weeks, left in the semester which upset the students, resulted in several classes being canceled and replacement professors brought in who had to make difficult adjustments and rapid preparation for courses with such short notice. Student academic needs were not considered appropriately in my humble opinion as the winds of persecution swept through the university.

3) I did not notify Richard Yanikoski of this event; he was getting e-mail from folks that wanted him to suspend or fire me. He contacted me.

4) Outside pressure had everything to do with Richard Yanikoski’s suspension of me which I detail in the previous blog.

5) is a source which anyone can abuse. I know an instructor who tested it to see if she or he could get on. I know several persons who have gone on there who have never met me or even seen SXU or much less were my students. A non-student or student could go online and send in numerous evaluations under different fake names. I read it once and enjoyed the comments but it is clearly being used by many, not all, with a political agenda. My evaluations are quite positive and my courses are closed with waitlists and I won the SXU Excellence in Teaching Award at a pretty conservative university. I am proud of this and am glad my teaching has been so well-received there. I love the students and they were big, big supporters of mine at the time.

6) I never stated that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should be restored to power. I did say if he were allowed to participate in a coalition of Sunni, Shi’a and Kurd components, it might end the insurgency and give the Baathist revanchists pause in their deadly and violent resistance against the occupation. I would take a Saddam political “rehabilitation” and participation in a coalition, if it would end the violence, over his continued incarceration and a continuation of this tragedy. Of course this will not happen; he will be executed but professors need to think outside the box and are paid to engage in critical and original thinking.

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