Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

From Project Censored at Sonoma State University, California

Censored Alerts are brought to you by Project Censored at Sonoma State University: Censored Alerts are important news stories from alternative, i.e. REAL news, sources. These stories have been censored or under-covered in the U.S. corporate media.

The following stories are honorably mentioned in Project Censored's yearbook, Censored 2001.

To Many Adjunct Professors, Academic Freedom is a Myth
The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 10, 1999
Author: Alison Schneider

Student Researcher: Jennifer Swift

Part-time untenured faculty are increasingly subject to loss of their First Amendment rights to academic freedom. Adjuncts comprise nearly 50 percent of the professorate in the United States, yet many are being dumped for things tenure-track scholars do with impunity-teaching controversial material, fighting grade changes, organizing unions, and so on. Academic freedom has become more of a myth than reality to part-time professors. "I am so beaten down that I'm just hoping I keep the job I have," says one mathematics instructor who suspects she lost a post over union organizing. "If I'm in this article with my name, they won't rehire me. They'll come up with an excuse."

Jeffrey A. Schaler, a part-time psychology professor, was ditched by Chestnut Hill College for opining to tenured colleague Thomas Klee that addiction and mental illness are not diseases. Mr. Klee wrote an e-mail stating, "Mr. Schaler can think whatever he wants about mental illness, but Chestnut Hill's psychology department is on record with a specific theoretical orientation." So it seems clear that without the protection of tenure, a professor is vulnerable to dismissal for disagreeing with a particular theoretical perspective.

Randy Vanderhurst, a former instructor at Colorado Mountain College, was fired from the veterinary-technician program for mentioning tampons and anal sex during a discussion of parasitic diseases in 1995. To illustrate the point that giardia survives sewage treatment he related how he had seen a tampon floating in water that had already gone through treatment. When the topic of cryptosporidium arose, he noted it was a particular problem for gay men because it can be transmitted through oral and anal sex. In September, Ken Hardy sued Jefferson Community College in Kentucky for violating his free-speech rights. In a 1998 lecture, Mr. Hardy asked students in his interpersonal communication course to deconstruct words used to oppress and offend. How did they evolve? How do they impede effective communication? The students bandied about examplesgirl, faggot, bitch, nigger-and Mr. Hardy repeated them during discussion. One student in a class of 22 took offense-saying words like "nigger" had no place in a communications course. Five days later Hardy met with the academic dean, Mary Pam Besser. A month later, he was out of a job. Quint McTyeire, the college's lawyer, said, "What goes on in the classroom is not protected by the First Amendment. It's not a matter of public concern. It's a curricular issue."

* Project Censored *
* Sonoma State University *
* 1801 E. Cotati Avenue *
* Rohnert Park, CA 94928 *
* *
* *
* "Come & join our listserv *
* for Censored Story *
* updates." *