Soka University of America: Writing professor investigated after administration claims works by black, brown, queer authors were ‘triggering,’ ‘deviant pornography’


Soka University of America

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Case Overview

On April 1, 2022, Soka University of America notified writing professor Aneil Rallin that they would face an investigation after students complained about material in their fall 2021 Writing the Body course. An administrator said materials by queer authors of color were “triggering” to students and failed to “create a safe space.” Rallin, a tenured, three-time SUA “Professor of the Year,” had recently criticized the university’s treatment of BIPOC students and was concerned about retaliation. On May 11, FIRE wrote to SUA, calling on it to immediately end its investigation into Rallin and honor its strong commitment to uphold faculty’s academic freedom rights. The university did not respond to FIRE’s letter. On February 15, 2023, FIRE submitted a complaint to SUA’s accreditor, WASC Senior College and University Commission, for failing to comply with the commission’s accreditation standard, requiring that an accredited institution “maintains, publishes, and adheres to policies on academic freedom.”