DePaul University: Professor Suspended for Expression Without Due Process


DePaul University

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Case Overview


On September 15, 2004, DePaul University professor Thomas Klocek criticized the viewpoint of pro-Palestinian students at a student activities fair. After the students complained that they were offended, DePaul administrators immediately suspended Klocek without a hearing or due process. On November 10, Klocek was informed that he could only teach one course in the upcoming semester and had to agree to unscheduled classroom observations, after which he would be considered for future teaching assignments. On March 24, 2005, FIRE wrote to DePaul explaining that its suspension and punishment of Klocek violated the promises it makes to faculty that they have rights to due process, academic freedom, and free expression. On April 8, DePaul responded to FIRE, arguing that its punishment of Klocek was not a matter of academic freedom and that “the university acted to address threatening and unprofessional behavior.”