Florida Atlantic U. Students and Faculty Demonstrate in Support of Academic Freedom
April 10, 2013
Yesterday, students and faculty gathered on the campus of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to demonstrate in support of academic freedom and Professor Deandre Poole, who has been placed on a highly suspect "administrative leave" after conducting an in-class exercise where he asked students to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then step on the paper. According to an email received by FIRE, a major purpose of the demonstration, which was organized by a group calling itself "Academic Freedom at FAU," was to convey the message that for many students and faculty on campus, the "FAU Administration does not speak for us!"
There are many different angles to this complicated case, in which the FAU administration seems to have taken hasty and ill-advised actions against both a student and a professor out of a desire to avoid public opprobrium. But whatever your views on the student's and the professor's actions, it is nice to see someone on campus acknowledging that the administration has made a total hash of the controversy, and doing so in a way that honors the tradition of free speech and open debate on campus.