Hamline Faculty Vote 71-12 to Ask University President to Step Down Over Muhammad Painting Firing Controversy

Today’s Twin Cities Pioneer Press (Josh Verges) reports:

Hamline University’s full-time faculty on Tuesday asked President Fayneese Miller to resign over her administration’s handling of a Muslim student’s complaint about an adjunct professor who showed ancient art in class that depicted the Prophet Muhammad.

Various Hamline administrators have said that what took place in an October art history class was “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic” and “an act of intolerance.” And Hamline rescinded its offer to have the adjunct professor, Erika Lopez Prater, teach again in the spring.

But after a wave of criticism from across the country, Miller conceded last week that she mishandled the episode….

The article quotes the faculty statement (passed 71-12, with 9 abstentions) as saying, in part:

We are distressed that members of the administration have mishandled this issue and great harm has been done to the reputation of Minnesota’s oldest university.… As we no longer have faith in President Miller’s ability to lead the university forward, we call upon her to immediately tender her resignation to the Hamline University Board of Trustees.

The article also notes that the American Association of University Professors is investigating the matter (and indeed sending people in person to the campus to do so), and notes that the Council on American-Islamic Relations came to the professor’s defense a week and a half ago, overruling its local chapter leader’s contrary statement.

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