MSU professor stresses importance of due process in Penn affair

Sep 9, 2013

The John A. Hannah Administration Building at Michigan State University.
Credit WKAR File Photo

Highly controversial comments made recently by a Michigan State University professor continue to be a topic of discussion both locally and beyond.  

Last week, creative writing professor William Penn sparked an intense backlash after a video surfaced of him suggesting Republicans had “raped the country” and included many closet racists.  A student attending the lecture told that Penn also denigrated Christians and athletes.

On Thursday, MSU barred Penn from teaching for the rest of the semester.  The incident has triggered a discussion involving two key features of university life: civility and respect on one hand and academic freedom on the other.

We spoke with MSU law professor Mae Kuykendall, the president of the East Lansing chapter of the American Association of University Professors.