Brooklyn College: Public Pressure Against Student Instructor
Kristofer Petersen-Overton, a doctoral student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, was hired by Brooklyn College's Department of Political Science to teach a spring 2011 course on Middle Eastern politics. Shortly following receipt of a letter from New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind challenging the hire and the academic merit of the course, Brooklyn College abruptly terminated the hire, claiming merely that Petersen-Overton was too early in his program of study to be allowed to teach the course. FIRE wrote a letter to Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould in January 2011 asking the school to clarify its actions. Facing criticism from FIRE and others, the school quickly reviewed its actions and reinstated Petersen-Overton, protecting academic freedom on its campus.
- "FIRE Letter to Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould, January 28, 2011," January 28, 2011
- "'Assemblyman Decries Appointment Of Pro-Suicide Bomber Professor To Brooklyn College,' Vos Iz Neias, January 26, 2011," January 26, 2011
- "Brooklyn College Reinstates Professor after Controversy," by Adam Kissel, February 1, 2011: Brooklyn College (BC) has reinstated an adjunct instructor it fired just days ago. Kristofer Petersen-Overton had been fired shortly after his academic writings and his course, "Politics of the Middle East," were condemned by a member of the New York State Assembly. FIRE wrote BC President Karen L. Gould last Friday, raising questions about academic freedom and due process in its treatment of Petersen-Overton, and reminding BC of its duty as a public college to uphold constitutional rights on campus.