- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A scathing external review prompted by a student’s First Amendment lawsuit has placed Missouri State University’s social-work program in jeopardy.

University President Mike Nietzel said last week that the school’s faculty would have to fix the problems identified in the study or face closure of the program.

The review of the program found it had a “long history of inner conflict and dysfunction,” including bullying by certain faculty, bias against students based on their religious beliefs and a lack of faculty productivity.

Mr. Nietzel called the report “as negative a review of an academic program as I have ever seen.”

The review began after student Emily Brooker accused the school and a faculty member of violating her First Amendment rights when she refused to sign a letter supporting homosexual adoption last spring.

When she refused, Miss Brooker said, she was subjected to intense interrogation by faculty who questioned her beliefs about homosexuality.

Miss Brooker and the university settled the lawsuit. The university paid her attorney fees and cleared her academic record.

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