Patti Adler, Professor of the Controversial Deviance Course, Returns to CU? (UPDATE)


An executive committee in the sociology department at the University of Colorado (CU) has given the green signal to Patricia Adler, a professor of the controversial course, 'Deviance in U.S. Society' to resume teaching the subject.

"She is cleared to teach the course," Bronson Hilliard, CU spokesman, said. "The sociology department executive committee recommends, and the chair of the department agrees, that the course proceeds with the recommendations contained in the ad hoc committee's report," Daily Camera reports.

Last month, Adler was forced to retire after a prostitution lecture (part of the course) presented in the form of a skit was alleged to pose a risk to the university by CU faculty members, administrators and campus Office of Discrimination and Harassment.

The skit involved teaching assistants reading from scripts and undergraduate assistants essaying the roles of 'slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services.'

CU officials believed that students might have been forced to participate and being filmed/photographed without their permission. In her defence, Adler said that all the students were well-aware of it. They in fact asked for copies of the videotapes.

"Although it is gratifying that the executive committee in the sociology department has affirmed the ad hoc committee's decision to permit me to continue teaching a course that for 25 years has been held in high esteem with no reported complaints, the fact that it had to undergo this extraordinary scrutiny to reverse CU's initial jump to judgment is a sad statement on what is occurring in universities," Adler said.

Even though the committee has given a go ahead Adler is not sure of returning to the campus because there are still many issues to be resolved with the university. In fact she is considering suing the school.

Not all committee members approved of allowing Adler to resume teaching the course. Some of them felt that the skits are 'meritorious pedagogical techniques.'

Hillary Potter, a member of the committee, was unhappy with the decision because numerous complaints have been received from teaching assistants and undergraduate teaching assistants.

"I object to the use of this skit, which serves to perpetuate sexualized and racialized stereotypes about sex workers and places TAs in precarious positions," Potter said.

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