Tuesday, May 23, 2023

AAUP Issues Report on Hamline University Islamic Art Controversy

 The Association of American University Professors Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure has released its report (full text) on the actions of Hamline University in refusing to renew the contract of a part-time art history professor who created a controversy when she presented two historical images of the Prophet Muhammad in an online class session. (See prior posting.) The AAUP Report concluded in part:

Professor Erika López Prater’s decision to display historical images of the Prophet Muhammad in a World Art class was not only justifiable and appropriate on both scholarly and pedagogical grounds; it was also protected by academic freedom. The Hamline administration was wrong to characterize this decision as “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic.” Similarly, the university’s contention that care for students must “supersede” academic freedom reflected an inaccurate and harmful understanding of the nature of academic freedom in the classroom. The university has since disavowed both claims.

The Star Beacon discusses the report and the University's response to it.