Tag Archives: FAU School of Communication and Multimedia Studies

FAU Faculty Support Academic Freedom (Restrictions Apply)

By James F. Tracy

Are faculty at FAU and universities across America pristine embodiments of integrity and truth? Do they support a flourishing of scholarly perspectives, or are they political ideologues who carefully police their own ranks?

Flashback to Spring 2013: A liberal instructor and Democratic Party activist is under fire by conservative groups for a classroom exercise that at least one student claimed was offensive to his religious faith. He put in a kick and local media leapt on the event. After an outcry in the blogosphere FAU administrators responded apologetically to the student and public, stating instructors would never repeat such an experiment with students. Even Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott, ever the opportunist, responded by chiding FAU administrators.

This was the famous, “Stomp on Jesus” incident, where FAU instructor Deandre Poole, an African American, was carrying out an exercise published in a widely-circulated communication studies textbook that asked students to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, then see if they could draw themselves to drop the paper to the ground and place their foot over it.

After the incident was called out by conservative groups and Poole received death threats there was an outpouring by progressive left faculty members, students and community members, who placed pressure on the administration to defend Poole by publicly demonstrating in defense of  “academic freedom.”

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Prof. James Tracy on SGT Report: Sandy Hook and the High Cost of Free Speech

SGT Report

sgt-reportProfessor James Tracy paid a heavy price for free speech. He lost his job as a tenured Professor because he dared to question the official story of the Sandy Hook Elementary event. Now he could use your help, please consider donating to his legal defense fund.

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A (Rare) View From FAU Students

“Your class, Public Opinion and Modernity, was by far my favorite class at FAU and one of the most difficult. Thank you for enabling us to think critically.”-FAU Student, January 2013

So is James Tracy really the “twisted” (Daily News 12/15/15) “psycho” (Daily Kos 12/20/15) and “nutty” (Daily Caller 1/7/16) professor that mainstream media outlets have made him out to be over the past three years, and particularly in late December 2015/early January 2016?  As we know, the mass media provided the reasoning for FAU administrators to terminate his employment on January 6, 2016.

Yet according to some Florida Atlantic University students, whose feedback and comments appear below, Tracy’s teaching endeavors over his 13 years at the south Florida college were consistently ranked “above satisfactory” and “excellent” by students and faculty peers with good reason: the classes were interesting, demanding, and popular.

FAU_EntranceRegrettably undergrad students today have very little say in university policies or decisions on who will teach them. In Professor Tracy’s case the FAU administration is happy to trample on tenure, free speech, and academic freedom by giddily dancing to the tune of corrupt newspaper editors, wealthy donors, CIA couples, even professional stalkers, all of whom are driven by financial and/or political interests, and whose views are antithetical to the life of the mind.

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