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Maine Professor Who Offered Credit To Students for Anti-Kavanaugh Protests Barred From Teaching

October 17, 2018

A retired professor who offered University of Southern Maine students one academic credit for going to Washington D.C. to protest against then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been barred from teaching in the state’s university system.

Susan Feiner, who retired in September 2018 after 21 years teaching economics at the Portland school, can’t teach at any Maine state university campus, according to the university’s president.

“We are embarrassed by and apologize for the rogue behavior of a former colleague,” said Glenn Cummings, president of the University of Southern Maine, in a written statement Wednesday, according to the Portland Press-Herald. “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.”

Feiner told the newspaper through text message that she doesn’t plan to appeal the decision.

“Why? I’m retired. It’s USM’s loss,” Feiner wrote, according to the Portland Press Herald.

University officials are still investigating how Feiner was able to create a so-called “pop-up course” offering students one academic credit for a course that consisted of traveling to Washington for a political protest.

University officials say no students are being given academic credit for protesting and that no public funds were used to support the protest.

A Maine Republican Party official, executive director Jason Savage, praised the university’s action, saying the president and other school officials “showed true integrity in dealing with this situation swiftly,” according to the Portland Press Herald.

An admirer of Feiner posted online a statement blasting the university’s decision to bar Feiner from teaching.

Sarah Skilling Woodard, executive director of Emerge Maine, a training program for Democratic women, called the university’s action against Feiner an act of “misogyny”:

Seriously, USM? Glenn Cummings? You couldn’t just tell the students they wouldn’t get the credit and move on? You’re going to ban and publicly try to humiliate Dr. Susan Feiner (good luck with that, btw) because she wanted students to witness one of the most important civic events in our history? She taught at USM for 21 years, brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money specifically for social justice education and held the failing school together during very dark times. Your response is to muzzle her and cozy up to Jason Savage because she didn’t follow the proper channels? 
If you’re a student or a Maine tax payer please call and express your feelings: 207-780-4480


Susan Feiner



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