Faculty at Hamline University Call for President’s Resignation Over Art Prof’s Muhammad Controversy
“We, the faculty of Hamline University, stand for both academic freedom and the education of all students”
These faculty members are defending the art professor who did not get her contract renewed after showing students an image of the Prophet Muhammad.
Hamline Faculty Call for University President’s Resignation
Hamline University faculty are calling for the resignation of President Fayneese Miller after the school failed to renew the contract of an adjunct who showed artworks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, student newspaper The Oracle reports. It’s the latest development in the controversy involving former adjunct Erika López Prater, who recently filed a lawsuit against Hamline after a system-wide email sent from the office of inclusive excellence in November denounced her conduct as “Islamophobic.” President Miller has since recanted on the administration’s use of the term.
During an emergency meeting earlier this week, 71 out of 92 faculty members voted in favor of officially requesting Miller’s resignation, adding in an official statement that the school’s administration “mishandled” the issue and that “great harm has been done to the reputation of Minnesota’s oldest university.”
“We, the faculty of Hamline University, stand for both academic freedom and the education of all students,” the letter reads. “We affirm both academic freedom and our responsibility to foster an inclusive learning community. Importantly, these values neither contradict nor supersede each other.” The statement also alleges that López Prater was not afforded due process or provided with an opportunity to defend herself.
López Prater was denied the opportunity to teach a spring semester class after showing two figurative depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, including a famous Medieval Islamic painting, during a World Art lecture on October 6. Prater issued a warning before showing the images, but one Muslim student in attendance, Aram Wedatalla, was offended by their display. Though some practicing Muslims do not create or intentionally view figurative imagery of Muhammad, Islamic scholars such as historian Christiane Gruber were quick to point out that the works in Prater’s lecture were made with the intent of veneration and devotion, not idolatry.
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It seems to me that the faculty itself can resign if conditions do not suit them.
I wonder how people work in the “office of inclusive excellence.”
The resignation of the faculty would be silly; considering the number who are taking the moral and ethical position. Resignation is only a rational response if you have no way to influence the institution. With these numbers, the only choice is to continue the fight even if you can’t oust the fascist President of the college immediately.
My advice to the “offended” (this sounds more like feigned “offense”) student is simple: Suck it up, Buttercup. In the real world where the rest of us live, there’s something called disappointment and it’s part of life. You’ll be shattered to pieces the first time any boss stupid enough to hire you refuses your time off request to celebrate your cat’s birthday. Get over it, dearie. And, BTW, as a boss I actually DID have someone make a request for that.