Thursday, November 5, 2015

CSUN dismisses discrimination complaint against prof, charges him with ‘retaliation’

A conservative professor at California State University-Northridge is challenging the school’s finding that he retaliated against students for complaining that an optional event featured “anti-gay” and “anti-women” remarks, claiming the investigation was politically-motivated.

“They haven’t stated what the disciplinary action is, and it’s been about three weeks,” Dr. Robert Lopez, an English professor at CSUN, told Campus Reform. “Some people might say I should wait until they announce the punishment, but I think they [university officials] are trying to delay the process.”

Lopez was made aware of the determination in an October 16 letter from Dr. Yi Li, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at CSUN, who informed Lopez that “while it was determined that there is insufficient information to find that you created a hostile learning environment, there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that you engaged in retaliatory acts in violation of CSU EO [Executive Order] 1074” (emphasis in original).

According to the letter, the finding was based on the results of a university investigation into a complaint made by one of Lopez’s former students (whose name has been redacted from documents obtained by Campus Reform) on May 12, in which the student alleged that Lopez had “discriminated against her on the basis of gender” by allowing students in one of his classes to attend an event at the Ronald Reagan presidential library for credit in lieu of completing a different assignment.

The event in question—a conference called “Bonds that Matter” that Lopez had organized independently to discuss children’s rights in the context of dual-parent upbringing—took place on Oct. 3, 2014, and according to a blog post written by Lopez, 110 students chose to attend the conference rather than completing a reflection journal for equivalent credit.

The student who filed the complaint, however, alleged that Lopez had “misrepresented” the nature of the conference by referring to it as a “women’s and children’s rights” conference while failing to mention the “biased viewpoints” that would be presented during the event.  (more...)

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