PUC prof cleared of campus harassment charges

February 29, 2012

HAMMOND | A Purdue University Calumet political science professor said he has been cleared of nine separate complaints of harassment.

University officials have been investigating professor Maurice Eisenstein since November for comments he posted on his Facebook page months ago about Muslims killing Christians in Nigeria, as well as comments he made in the classroom.

About two dozen Purdue Calumet students protested for two days in November, calling for the associate professor’s classes to be boycotted and for him to be dismissed.

Eisenstein said he received a call Thursday when university officials told him they found no basis for the harassment claims. He said he subsequently received nine separate letters that said the same thing — that nothing he said or did comes to the level of harassment.

Purdue Calumet spokesman Wes Lukoshus released a statement Tuesday saying, "Consistent with Purdue University policy, we do not comment publicly about situations or decisions involving university personnel, and we support the First Amendment rights of all individuals regardless of point of view."

During the investigation, the Pennsylvania-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent a letter to Purdue Calumet in support of Eisenstein. He also wrote letters to Indiana legislators asking for their support.

Eisenstein, who has taught at Purdue Calumet since 1993, said he doesn’t plan to alter his teaching style, but said "after almost four months of being under investigation and threats against me, I can’t say it’s not in the back of my mind that someone can file a complaint against me."

Eisenstein intends to file an appeal on the nine letters because he said the chancellor also has to repair his reputation. Eisenstein said that can be done by informing the faculty and student body that everyone has a right to free speech.

Schools: Purdue University Cases: Purdue University Calumet: First Amendment Violations Against Professor Who Criticized Muslims