Faculty and students rally after Pennsylvania State University moves due to possible dismissal of professor

Despite admitting cheating after an assistant professor at Penn State University quarreled with anti-vaxx students last August, Penn State University has been angry with both faculty and students and is advancing the retirement process. increase.

A university spokesman confirmed that Oliver Baker, an assistant professor of English and African-American studies, remained on leave despite being discovered. November is not guilty On his only suspicion, a summary count of harassment. The university refused to confirm that the “secret” dismissal process had begun, but by Thursday two faculty-based groups reported that the process was underway.

The group Students Against Sexist Violence held a rally to help Baker at Allen Street Gate on Friday at 6 pm. “Undergraduate students started”Don’t let PSU fire Dr. Baker!, ”So far, it has won nearly 600 signatures.

“This decision can undermine the legitimacy of the (termination) process,” read a statement from the Pennsylvania State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors. “Faculty members cannot be guilty of serious illegal activity unless they have committed any kind of illegal activity …. This decision sends a calm message to faculty members at all universities. It means that you may be dismissed by an irresponsible personnel department who ignores your disclaimer. “

Background to this point

The controversy first began at a pre-all-domain rally on August 27. About 150 community members gathered Pennsylvania State University demands that COVID vaccine be mandated.

Opposition students wearing neon orange safety vests, which the organizers have characterized as “physically offensive to peaceful attendees,” include memes, tweets, and “stop liberal attitudes.” By saying, I turned the signboard around. Then Baker confronted the student before things got worse.

According to criminal accusations, Baker took the sign of an opposition protester, pulled him to the ground, and was accused of trying to injure him during a subsequent battle. Opponent protesters were seen with a bloody face after the brawl.He told police he believed that Baker’s shoulders touched his nose and face. Peacefully exercise his rights in the First Amendment.

The 36-year-old assistant professor initially faced the misdemeanor of simple assault and chaotic acts, in addition to the number of summaries of harassment. Two misdemeanors Dropped in October After Baker’s lawyer described the student as “hostile, menacing and aggressive”. In November, Judge Steven Ruckman in the Center County district discovered Baker. Not guilty of his only remaining charges, A (legal) informal prosecution equivalent to a parking violation ticket.

“(Baker) isn’t doing anything wrong. If anything, his action at the rally was to protect people,” said Just University’s undergraduate-based group coalition spokesman. Valerie Braman said. “This is going on longer than necessary, so he needs to come back soon. He belongs to the classroom.”

Approximately 150 people attended an all-domain rally in August, calling on Pennsylvania State University to demand COVID-19 obligations from students and staff.

Approximately 150 people attended an all-domain rally in August, calling on Pennsylvania State University to demand COVID-19 obligations from students and staff.

End process start

Even after the court’s ruling, Pennsylvania State University took Baker off before officially initiating the AC70 dismissal process.

Based on the policies outlined online, the first step is a meeting with managers, and if concerns remain, problems arise with certain university juries called the Permanent Joint Committee on Term of Employment. You will be queried. The committee decides whether Baker will be disciplined or resume education.

Baker is currently past Step 1, according to sources.

based on University-specific academic policy, Dismissal requires “clear and compelling evidence”. Even if the evidence that Pennsylvania State University may have is not available to the county district attorney, it is unclear what it is. Most of the Commission’s proceedings are secretly hidden and not open to the public.

A spokesperson for Pennsylvania State University declined to comment further, saying Baker’s lawyer Julian Arat couldn’t. We don’t know exactly how long Baker’s hearing will last, but it can take months to reach the final decision.

Students and faculty want Baker to come back soon.

“If the AC70 process moves forward, the insults to justice and the harm to the university’s reputation are immeasurable,” the AAUP statement read. “Such misuse of our dismissal process will certainly attract public attention, and its impact will resonate for years.

“Therefore, for justice, and for the best interests of the university, please stop the AC70 process before irreparable damage occurs.”