- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The professor who was recently barred from teaching at University of Southern Maine after she offered students credit for participating in a protest against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh penned an op-ed Tuesday slamming the university for capitulating “to the moment’s rabid misogyny” and undermining its own integrity.

Susan Feiner, who retired in September but continued to teach some classes at USM, offered students one credit for taking a pop-up course called “Engaged Citizenship,” which would bus students to Washington to participate in a protest urging Republican Sen. Susan Collins to oppose confirming then-Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

USM President Glenn Cummings issued a statement last week accusing Ms. Feiner of promoting “an unauthorized class that advanced her personal political agenda” and said she had since been barred from teaching pending an internal investigation.

“We are embarrassed by and apologize for the rogue behavior of a former colleague,” Mr. Cummings said. “In response to her inappropriate actions Dr. Susan Feiner has been notified that she is now barred from teaching at the University of Southern Maine, a prohibition that will be upheld by the other campuses of the University of Maine System as well.”

In her piece, titled “I’m the so-called rogue professor. USM was my rogue adjudicator,” Ms. Feiner admitted that she failed to submit the proper paperwork for the course, and it was never officially approved by the administration. Still, she argued, the university bowed to right-wing pressure and barred her from teaching without ever talking to her personally about the issue.

“Without ever talking to me — and with the Maine Republican Party on his case — USM President Glenn Cummings capitulated to the moment’s rabid misogyny,” Ms. Feiner wrote. “The state Republican Party went on the warpath as soon as it learned of the course, alleging, among other things, a ‘misuse of taxpayer dollars.’ (This is flatly wrong. The proposed activities were grant-funded. USM officials always knew that.)

“Right-wing radio hosts piled on, alleging indoctrination, misuse of public funds, partisanship,” she continued. “Every bit of right-wing spin was and is untrue. But today’s falsehoods are the new truth. News is fake. And the right savages anyone — especially women — who dare object.”

Ms. Feiner suggested the University of Maine System is rigged because the board includes Mrs. Collins’ brother, Samuel Collins, and Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Shawn Moody.

“That’s the Republican MO,” she wrote. “Rig the system, plunder the treasury, incite mobs. Then claim your opponents don’t play fair, have their hands in the till, are on the warpath. That’s called ‘projection.’ No rogue professor undermined the university’s integrity. The university did that.”

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