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University Wants Prof to Sign Away His Free Speech Rights to Get His Job Back

University Wants Prof to Sign Away His Free Speech Rights to Get His Job Back

“one of the most extreme violations of academic freedom and free speech that I’ve ever seen”

This doesn’t sound like a very fair trade. Why is free speech always such an issue in higher education?

The College Fix reports:

University demands professor sign away his free-speech rights if he wants his job back

Ken Peterson thought he was in the clear after winning an appeal of his dismissal by Dixie State University.

Then the tenured music professor was ordered to sign a “Last Chance Agreement” if he wanted to return to campus.

The text of that agreement – which requires Peterson to affirm his “unprofessional/uncivil behavior” toward colleagues and “inappropriate behavior” with students, as well as censor himself on an ongoing basis – is drawing condemnation from academic and free-speech groups.

John K. Wilson, an editor for the American Association of University Professors’ Academe blog, went so far as to call it “one of the most extreme violations of academic freedom and free speech that I’ve ever seen.”

Peterson shared the five-page agreement earlier this month, saying he wouldn’t sign it: “It is punitive, vindictive, disenfranchising, and dehumanizing.”

The situation has caused quite the stir even beyond campus borders, the professor told The College Fix.

“You wouldn’t believe how badly this has affected the performing arts program at DSU, the entire campus, and in fact, the whole close-knit community of Saint George Utah,” Peterson wrote in an email.

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Comments

Hmmm. Isn’t that the very antithesis of what colleges are supposed to be, what tenure is supposed to guarantee?

Allowing free speech you agree with and suppressing the rest is no different than full censorship. Or is it propaganda? The college Stockholm effect is in full play here.

Shameful and unprofessional.

If you read the contract, it simply gives the college a few hundred grounds to fire him once the contract goes into effect. Basically, it requires him to give up his tenure and submit to a bunch of very restrictive rules that will allow them to fire him whenever they want.

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