Faculty panel gives OK to deviant behavior class
BOULDER — A course at the University of Colorado on deviant behavior has passed a faculty review, but the professor behind the class said she is still not sure if she’ll return after being suspended from teaching it.
Four professors in the sociology department found the course to be appropriate for Professor Patti Adler to teach in the coming semester, the Boulder Daily Camera reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/lm5ss66 ).
The recommendation, however, is not binding.
Provost Russell Moore sent an email to students, faculty and staff members two weeks ago saying Adler was being suspended from teaching the class because of complaints from students who did not want to participate in a role-playing skit as part of the course.
During the lecture, Adler’s teaching assistants portrayed prostitutes and described their lifestyles for the class.
Bronson Hilliard, a spokesman for the Boulder campus, said Adler has not yet been cleared to resume teaching the course because the executive committee of the sociology department still must sign off on the review by professors Jane Menken, Michael Radelet, Kathleen Tierney and Joyce Nielsen.
Adler said she has not yet decided whether she will return in the spring to teach the popular class. She and her husband, University of Denver sociology professor Peter Adler, told the newspaper they are talking with attorneys and weighing their legal options.
The class has been the subject of controversy among faculty members and administrators since early December.
University officials said they had concerns about students who may have felt coerced into participating in the skits and possibly filmed without their consent. Adler said all students know they are being videotaped and they often ask for copies.
In the committee’s review of the course, the four faculty members recommend that, in future use of the skit, Adler should document that those involved give full, informed consent to participate, including the possibility of being filmed, and can opt out of participation at any time without penalty.