Law Professor Could Lose Job over Fake Classroom Examples

By on February 16, 2011

At Widener University in Delaware, a law professor commonly used examples involving murder scenarios in his classes on criminal procedure. To make the examples memorable, he used recognizable nameshis own and his dean’s.

"Instead of saying Plaintiff A or Defendant B, teachers use names that will grab the attention of students, wake them up from their distractions and make things memorable," his attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The professor, Lawrence J. Connell, reportedly is a tenured faculty member who has been teaching at Widener for 26 years. According to Neuberger, Connell reportedly was pressured to admit that he "was engaging in racist, sexist statements," since the dean is black and a woman. He refused to comply with this demand, since it appears to be a violation of his academic freedom. Connell has been put on administrative leave and was barred from campus, and he now faces formal charges.

FIRE is following this case with interest. We will let you know what happens next.

Schools: Widener University School of Law Cases: Widener University: Law School Threatens Professor’s Academic Freedom