‘Hot for teacher’: Oakland U student says he was suspended over professor crush

February 12, 2012

A student at Oakland University says he was suspended from classes for three months because of a "wild overreaction" to a class assignment where he stated an attraction to his creative writing professor.

Last fall, Joseph Corlett, represented by the activist group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), was a student in an Advanced Critical Writing course where he kept a writing journal. The group says that students were encouraged to "freewrite" and "record impressions and observations."

FIRE: One entry in Corlett’s journal, titled "Hot for Teacher," tells a story of being worried about being distracted in class by attractive professors. A separate September 23 entry states that his professor is like Ginger from the television series Gilligan’s Island, while another professor is like the character Mary Ann.

In an email on November 29, his professor announced to some of her colleagues, "Either Mr[.] Corlett leaves campus or I do." On December 7, Corlett met with Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Glenn McIntosh and with Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Mary Beth Snyder, who pressured Corlett to withdraw from his winter semester classes.

Corlett was reportedly told to enroll in sensitivity training and not to enroll at OU again until Winter 2013. He has been banned from campus until further notice, FIRE says.