College President Out After Firing Professor for Using Art in Art Class

April 3, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A college president is on her way out after she fired a professor for using art in an art class.

A report from Just the News explains that Fayneese Miller, of Hamline University in Minnesota, is on her way out the door after demanding that a professor put "respect" for a Muslim student over academic freedom.

Miller had refused to renew a contract for an art professor who showed a Muslim-authorized Muhammad depiction in a voluntary lesson.

Miller confirmed her "retirement" is coming in just weeks.

Her school withdrew a contract offer to Erika Lopez Prater, an art history adjunct professor, "after her opt-out lesson on Muslim-authorized depictions of Muhammad drew a complaint from Muslim Students Association President Aram Wedatalla."

Faculty voted no confidence in Miller after she demanded, "Respect for the observant Muslim students in that classroom should have superseded academic freedom."

Prater also filed a lawsuit, and an organization dealing with academic freedom filed a complaint with the school's accreditor. Further, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations sided with Prater.

Miller's retirement is to be effective June 30.

WND previously reported on the dispute that the school backtracked after Miller refused the contract renewal and made her anti-academic freedom comments.

At the time the fight began, the school said Prater's actions were "Islamophobic" in an email sent campus-wide, which Prater said caused her "emotional distress."

She claimed damages under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, breach of contract, and emotional distress.

But the school abruptly turned itself around, stating, "There have been many communications, articles, and opinion pieces that have caused us to review and re-examine our actions. Hamline is a multi-cultural, multi-religious community that has been a leader in creating space for civil conversations. Like all organizations, sometimes we misstep. In the interest of hearing from and supporting our Muslim students, language was used that does not reflect our sentiments on academic freedom. Based on all that we have learned, we have determined that our usage of the term ‘Islamophobic’ was therefore flawed."

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