Thursday, December 16, 2004

SUU prof. fired for swearing

Southern Utah University Professor Stephen Roberts was fired for using the f-word in a heated class discussion Oct. 12 over a supreme court case. At the time, he appologized to the student and class, but he stupidly swore during his peer review process.

SUU students picked Roberds as their 2003-04 Professor of the Year. Last week he gave the Cedar City-based university's Grace A. Tanner Distinguished Faculty Lecture.

"We have gone through policies and procedures, and based on a variety of things, the decision was made that a contract for the 2005-06 academic year not be granted to Professor Roberds," said Dean Decker, dean of SUU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Decker sent Roberds a letter saying his contract with the southwest Utah school would not be renewed.

Dean Decker claims that Roberds' ouster had nothing to do with the tenure process or the professor's recent use of the obscenity during a classroom discussion. Yeah right.

Decker placed Roberds on paid administrative leave with full benefits for the next six months - the balance of his current contract, which ends on June 30, 2005, saying "He will not be teaching classes during the spring semester. We have fully credentialed faculty to teach the classes that Dr. Roberds was scheduled to teach."

While Cedar City is a conservative area, there just seems no justification for firing someone on such a frivilious charge. It seems he was a liberal in a conservative region and clashed with the administration. I haven't looked through the school's speech code but I seriously doubt that is something which a student would be let go for, let alone a professor. Hope he comes up to the U and teaches here or a more liberal school where he won't be afraid of speaking. I say, sue the a-holes (that was meant to be ironic)

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