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Hamline Faculty Calls on President to Step Down

January 25, 2023

Hamline University’s full-time faculty members voted 71 to 12 on Monday to call for the resignation of President Fayneese Miller, The Pioneer Press reported.

Miller’s administration called it “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic” and “an act of intolerance” for an adjunct professor, Erika López Prater, to have shown an image of Muhammad in class in the fall. López Prater subsequently did not get rehired for the spring semester. Academic freedom advocates have criticized Miller and have noted that López Prater warned her students about what she was going to do.

“We are distressed that members of the administration have mishandled this issue and great harm has been done to the reputation of Minnesota’s oldest university,” said a statement the faculty adopted. “As we no longer have faith in President Miller’s ability to lead the university forward, we call upon her to immediately tender her resignation to the Hamline University Board of Trustees.”

A Hamline spokesman said Miller was discussing with her team how to respond.

In a joint statement Jan. 17 with the chair of Hamline’s Board of Trustees, Miller said “sometimes we misstep” and that it was “flawed” to have used the word “Islamophobic” to describe the incident. The statement came out the same day López Prater sued the university.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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