How is a professor supposed to teach effectively if he or she lives in fear of offending students?

Reason reports.

Professor Run Out of Classroom for Offending Students Will Lose Job

Andrea Quenette, the University of Kansas communications professor subjected to protests and a formal investigation after offending her liberal students, was cleared of wrongdoing. But she is still ultimately out of a job.

“Andrea has been denied continuation of her tenure,” her husband, Scott Quenette, told Reason. “Despite having a recommendation from the tenure committee and her department. The new dean unilaterally denied it.”

This decision was contrary to the recommendation of her department. Quenette will be able to continue at her job for another year, and then her employment at KU will be at an end.

According to Inside Higher Ed, Quenette, “wasn’t granted an extension to her third-year review as part of her pretenure probation.” But the reason for that seems clear.

Last fall, members of Quenette’s class asked to discuss the racial tensions on campus. Quenette made the mistake of confessing her own blind spots, and used imperfect language when she did so. She said, “It’s not like I see nigger spray-painted on walls,” according to her students. She also denied that racism was the sole explanation for some black KU students falling behind in their studies.

Quenette’s statements weren’t malicious, and she didn’t use the n-word as a slur. Moreover, she’s a professor of communications, and the classroom was an appropriate place to have a conversation about these issues—even if the conversation bothered some people.