Appalachian State University: Professor Suspended for Classroom Speech
In March 2012, tenured professor Jammie Price was placed on administrative leave after students alleged that she had created a hostile environment and strayed from the syllabus in her introductory sociology class. The allegations included making negative comments about the university and its student athletes and showing a documentary on pornography. Although what is known about her pedagogy is likely protected under the canons of academic freedom and does not appear to constitute actionable harassment, App State found her guilty and sentenced her to a development plan featuring "corrective actions" that encroached on her academic freedom, such as unique requirements for teaching "sensitive topics" and "controversial materials." Both the Faculty Due Process Committee and the Faculty Grievance Committee have issued reports raising objections to Price's punishment, including allegations that App State violated Price's due process by suspending her without a due process hearing. Despite these reviews, Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock has rejected the committee recommendations and announced that the sanctions against Price will move forward. On December 22, 2012, Price appealed her case to App State's Board of Trustees.
- "FIRE letter to Appalachian State University Board of Trustees Chair Michael A. Steinback, March 19, 2013," March 19, 2013
- "Resolution from Appalachian State Faculty Senate," February 5, 2013
- "Response to FGHC Report by Chancellor Kenneth A. Peacock, December 7, 2012," December 7, 2012
- "Response to Faculty Grievance Hearing Committee Report by Chancellor Kenneth Peacock, November 21, 2012," November 21, 2012
- "Report of Faculty Grievance Hearing Committee, October 23, 2012," October 23, 2012
- "Report of Faculty Due Process Committee, May 25, 2012," May 25, 2012
- "Appalachian State University Faculty Senate Agenda, May 21, 2012," May 21, 2012: Both of the resolutions on the agenda reportedly passed unanimously.
- "Response from Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Stewart Gonzalez, May 10, 2012," May 10, 2012
- "Letter from FIRE to Appalachian State University Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock, May 8, 2012," May 8, 2012
- "Letter from Provost Lori Stewart Gonzalez to Jammie Price, April 30, 2012," April 30, 2012
- "Letter from Professor Jammie Price in response to Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Anthony Gene Carey's March 16 Letter, April 3, 2012," April 3, 2012
- "Request for Due Process Hearing from Sociology Professor Jammie Price, March 18, 2012," March 18, 2012
- "Letter from Vice Provost Anthony Gene Carey to Jammie Price, March 16, 2012," March 16, 2012
- "Appalachian State University 2011-2012 Faculty Handbook," August 25, 2011
- "The End to My 'Sexy' Academic Career," by Madeline Gootman, July 26, 2013
- "Please Explain Why Putting University Administrators in Charge of Judging Speech Is a Good Idea," by Catherine Sevcenko, July 9, 2013
- "Bell Tolls for Appalachian State Chancellor, Not the Liberty Bell!," by Peter Bonilla, April 23, 2013
- "App State Faculty Senate Votes ‘No Confidence’ In Two Top Academic Administrators," by Peter Bonilla, March 26, 2013
- "FIRE Supports Appeal of Unjustly Punished Appalachian State Professor," by Peter Bonilla, March 25, 2013: FIRE has written to the Appalachian State University (App State) Board of Trustees in support of sociology professor Jammie Price. Last year, Price was wrongly suspended from teaching without a hearing on the basis of in-class comments and the screening of a documentary that critically examines the adult film industry. A flawed university investigation concluded that Price had created a "hostile learning environment," and Price was ordered to abide by a "professional development plan" that violated her academic freedom. Despite rebukes from the App State faculty's grievance and due process committees, the university has pressed forward with its sanctions, putting the rights of all App State faculty at risk.
- "‘Daily Tar Heel’ on Jammie Price Case at Appalachian State," by Azhar Majeed, December 3, 2012
- "Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Pens Letter to ASU Board of Trustees in Support of Prof. Jamie Price,"
High County Press, March 28, 2013