February 9, 2004

diversity of opinions...

Harm pointed out this gem:

KIRTLAND, OH´┐ŻLakeland Community College near Cleveland, Ohio, has removed a professor of moral philosophy from his classes as punishment for refusing to hide his religious identity from students. The college threatened Dr. James Tuttle, who espouses traditional Catholic beliefs, with dismissal because he made statements on his syllabi and in class that disclosed his religious faith and how that shaped his personal philosophy....

...Dr. Tuttle's problems began in March 2003 when he received a copy of a student complaint forwarded to him by Dean James L. Brown of the Arts and Humanities Division at Lakeland. The student complained that Dr. Tuttle mentioned his Catholic beliefs too often for the student's taste and suggested that he be given "counseling for tolerance."

In an effort to address this issue, Dr. Tuttle decided to add "disclaimers" to the syllabi of two of his classes informing students that the professor was "a committed Catholic Christian philosopher and theologian," so that students would know in advance about his perspective. The statement also encouraged any students who felt uncomfortable with Dr. Tuttle's views or methods to feel free to talk to him outside of class.

On April 21, 2003, Dr. Tuttle received a letter from Dean Brown saying that he was "more bothered by [Tuttle's] disclaimer than by anything I read in [the student]'s complaint." Dean Brown went on to suggest that Dr. Tuttle "would be happier in a sectarian classroom." In punishing Dr. Tuttle for including the disclaimer, Dean Brown stated that he would reduce Dr. Tuttle's course load for the next semester to only one class (thereby reducing his pay) and would subject him to classroom monitoring by a fellow professor before reaching a final decision on whether to actually fire him....

STUDY QUESTIONS:

If Tuttle were a Moslem, would he find himself in trouble?

If Tuttle were an Atheist, (which is also a faith, not something that can be proved) would he find himself in trouble?

If Tuttle claimed that moral philosophy required opposition to President Bush, would he find himself in trouble?

If Tuttle was the only black or hispanic professor in the department, would he find himself in trouble?

Is "counseling for tolerance" the optimum strategy for promoting diversity by eliminating wrong opinions?

Posted by John Weidner at February 9, 2004 7:57 AM
Weblog by John Weidner