U-M Kicks Outs Anti-War Prof
Mark Green, the U-M chemistry professor who caused a ruckus last fall by showing an anti-war flick in class, was told Jan. 11 that after the winter term of 1974 he’s through teaching at the university.
Prof. Green’s firing, through what the U-M calls “a denial of tenure,” came after Green seemed to have won a victory in the anti-war film controversy.
Green was suspended Oct. 9 after showing his class what napalm and other chemical weapons have done to civilians in Indochina. But, when 500 students gathered in a demonstration to support Green, the professor was reinstated a week later.
A review committee of four professors and three students later criticized the film as “an inappropriate use of class time” but declared that Green should keep his job.
Thomas Dunn, the acting chairman of the chemistry department, had wanted Green fired but grudgingly gave in to the review committee’s decision.
He bided his time – until the winter months when student demonstrations are hard to organize – and then hit Green with a new tactic, chopping off his job slowly instead of quickly.
Dunn claimed that Green had been denied tenure because the quality of his research and teaching had gone down.
But Green insisted he is working on a three-year research grant recently awarded him by the National Institute of Health and that student evaluations of his last two courses have been “very, very good.”
“For whatever reasons it happened. those reasons clearly do not pertain,” Green charged. “I’m sure the film had something to do with it.”
He said he will appeal the decision rather than take the boot.
Green’s firing once again points up the top-to-bottom chain of command that still exists at the U-M. Students and professors working for reforms have not yet been able to crack the upper levels of decision making.
Until that happens, the right to freedom of speech and the right to academic freedom will remain only so many empty expressions