After Penn affair, MSU considers classroom transparency

Oct 8, 2013

English professor William Penn’s remarks on Republicans went viral, such as a comment that he considers Republicans to be 'cheap'.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

At the beginning of the academic semester this fall, a Michigan State University professor became the focus of controversy over a video recorded in his classroom.

One result of the criticism over the video was a decision that English professor William Penn would not teach this semester.  The incident has brought attention to the issue of academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Now, a committee has been formed to further look into MSU’s handling of the Penn affair. Communication professor William Donohue is chairing The Committee on Social Media, Pedagogy and Academic Rights and Responsibilities. Penny Gardner, an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures also serves on the committee. They join us on Current State for an update.

Donohue says the committee has been asked to explore the extent to which students, faculty and others have social media rights in the classroom.