Brooklyn College: Public Pressure Against Student Instructor

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Kristofer Petersen-Overton, a doctoral student at the City University of New York Graduate Center, was hired by Brooklyn College’s Department of Political Science to teach a spring 2011 course on Middle Eastern politics. Shortly following receipt of a letter from New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind challenging the hire and the academic merit of the course, Brooklyn College abruptly terminated the hire, claiming merely that Petersen-Overton was too early in his program of study to be allowed to teach the course. FIRE wrote a letter to Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould in January 2011 asking the school to clarify its actions. Facing criticism from FIRE and others, the school quickly reviewed its actions and reinstated Petersen-Overton, protecting academic freedom on its campus.