Collin College Protests Loyola Chicago Professor’s Speech

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Collin College has faced multiple complaints over academic freedom, leading to lawsuits from aggrieved former faculty members who argue they were fired for exercising their free speech rights. But the latest free speech complaint comes from a professor at Loyola University Chicago.

Though he doesn’t work for Collin College, Benjamin H. Johnson, a history professor at Loyola Chicago, said his dean contacted him regarding a complaint raised by Neil Matkin, the president of Collin College, over a petition that Johnson had circulated regarding the dismissal of a Collin professor.

Michael Phillips, who taught history at Collin College for 14 years, has alleged his contract was not renewed because he advocated for the removal of Confederate monuments in Dallas. After Phillips was ousted, Johnson circulated a petition to urge the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges to “investigate Collin College’s compliance with SACSCOC provisions on academic freedom.” That petition, according to Johnson, prompted Matkin to contact Loyola Chicago’s president with a complaint, asking if Johnson was speaking on behalf of the institution.

In a tweet thread last week, Johnson described Matkin’s move “as an effort to intimidate me and possibly to enlist Loyola in his efforts to squelch freedom of assembly and academic freedom.”

The Dallas Observer, which first reported the story, said Collin College did not provide a comment.



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