Our organization has been attacked in recent days by members of the media and others who questioned the validity of the story of a University of Northern Colorado student who was asked to write an essay on her criminology exam explaining “why President Bush is a war criminal.” According to our original report, the student wrote instead about why Saddam Hussein is a war criminal and was given a failing grade. These attacks were initiated by Prof. Mano Singham in a March 3 column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and were quickly picked up by mediamatters.org and other news sources who implied that we had made the whole thing up.
As the following articles illustrate, we have confirmed the existence of the student, the professor, and the exam. Officials at the University of Northern Colorado have produced a copy of the question which they claim was on the exam, but which doesn’t match the student’s recollections. The professor claims to have destroyed all copies of the actual exam, leading us to question how he could suddenly have come into possession of this particular exam question. Moreover, though the wording of this question differs from what we have reported, it still requires students to come up with a pre-determined answer to a very controversial issue. This is indoctrination and a violation of the tenets of academic freedom. For more information, please see the articles below.
Media Attacks and Reports:
Media Attacks and Reports on the UNC case
Response from Students for Academic Freedom:
University of N. Colorado President Kay Norton Confirms Existence of Student’s Complaint
“…and actually last year, a young woman did raise a question about what she thought was an inappropriate examination question, I referred her to our procedures, she followed them, and I’m pleased to report to you that the original version of what would have been an inappropriate examination question proved not to be what was actually on the examination, and so the process worked.”Listen to audio file here.
- U. Northern Colorado Exam Timeline
- The Case of the Colorado Exam
- UNC Officials, Prof Feed Controversy
- Debate Over Academic Freedom
- Colorado: The Student Speaks
- Correction: We Were Right
- Once More Into The Breach
- Statement on University of Northern Colorado Case
- Correction: Some Of Our Facts Were Wrong; Our Point Was Right
- University of N. Colorado Story Confirmed