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University concludes history-class inquiry

President Stephen Jordan initiated an inquiry into a situation involving Professor Charles Angeletti.

December 18, 2014

Last week, MSU Denver was made aware of a story published in Campus Watch questioning History Professor Charles Angeletti’s conduct in the classroom. Based on the story, MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan initiated an inquiry into the situation, from both the perspective of students’ first amendment rights and the faculty member’s right to academic freedom.

Over the past week, the University conducted interviews with Steven Farr (the student quoted in the Campus Watch story), Angeletti and a random sample of students who withdrew from and remained in the course. Farr was the only one who cited Angeletti’s teaching methods as the reason for dropping the course.

The interviews concluded that the anti-pledge written by Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons,” was disseminated to the class. Angeletti confirmed that he has been using the anti-pledge in his course for more than 20 years, and that he provides a  “critical approach” handout on the first day of class that asks students to list 10 reasons “why I am proud to be an American” and 10 reasons “why I am not proud to be an American.” Angeletti confirmed that the anti-pledge was intended to be proactive and spark dialogue in the classroom.

To date, no student has submitted a complaint. In general students were complimentary of Angeletti as a professor. All but Farr said he encouraged open dialogue and differing opinions in the classroom.

The University concludes there was no violation of the students’ first amendment rights, and that the faculty member exercised his right to academic freedom, and considers this matter closed.

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