It took a Republican lawmaker to intervene, university backs down. (Confront them and be fearless in all things.)
A taxpayer-funded university department has the right to its own views. But does it have the right to investigate students on trumped-up charges for disagreeing with those views?
The University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry charged a student with “professional misconduct” because he responded to its college-wide email condemning President Trump’s executive order on federally funded trainings in critical race theory, which may apply to some university activities.
It refused to let him bring an attorney or record the hearing, even though possible outcomes were probation or dismissal from the program.
Campus Reform reports that the college emailed the community Oct. 16 to state that, institutionally, “we stand unified against this order and its attack on people and free speech.”
Student Michael Brase hit “reply all” – as did several others – asking the College of Dentistry what it specifically objected to in the executive order:
Because the executive order defines “race or sex stereotyping” as ”ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex,” Brase asked for clarity on why the College of Dentistry would “support using federal funds to promote trainings that include race/sex stereotyping and/or race/sex scapegoating.” He also wondered if the school supports “using federal funds to promote trainings that teach that certain races/sexes are inherently or fundamentally oppressive, racist, sexist, etc.”
The conversation continued in the email thread, with one faculty member, Steve Kelly, telling the student he had “a lot of guts” for challenging the college leadership. “Hopefully you’ll get a reply that we can all read. Better yet, maybe it will result in a meeting of interested parties,” Kelly wrote.
The college felt differently. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Sherry Timmons (left) warned Brase in a Nov. 9 letter that his “unprofessional behavior” in response to the college-wide email meant he had to meet with the Collegiate Academic and Professional Performance Committee for a “Professional Misconduct Review Hearing” Nov. 23.
It specifically denounced his “follow-ups emails”….