Oberlin College professor Joy Karega, who was heavily criticized after The Tower revealed in February that she had posted Facebook status claiming that Israel was behind the rise of ISIS and the 9/11 terror attacks and Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, has been put on leave and will be barred from teaching on campus while her case is reviewed, the school’s president said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I am committed to continuing and completing an equitable review process,” Oberlin president Marvin Krislov wrote in an email to students, staff, and alumni. “While the process is pending, Professor Karega is on paid leave and will not be teaching at Oberlin. Arrangements are being made to cover her teaching and advising responsibilities.”’ He concluded by saying the school “will have no other comment until the conclusion of the process,” citing the “sensitivity” of the review process.
Krislov was criticized for his initial hesitant response to the scandal, writing at the time that “Oberlin College respects the rights of its faculty, students, staff and alumni to express their personal views.” A second statement from Krislov distanced the school from Karega’s postings, but failed to explicitly condemn them.
Other members of Oberlin’s faculty and administration took stronger stands. In early March, Oberlin College Board of Trustees chair Clyde McGregor issued a statement calling Karega’s postings “abhorrent.” McGregor’s stand was supported by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which issued a statement saying, “Oberlin’s trustees are right….While respecting academic freedom and due process, they must oppose anti-semitism.”
A majority of Karega’s faculty colleagues signed a letter in April condemning her postings. “Bigotry has no place on the Oberlin campus (or anywhere),” the letter said. “It sullies the values of equality and mutual support that are embedded in our institutional DNA as the first coeducational college and the first to admit students of all races as a matter of policy. … As scholars and teachers who treasure all Oberlin has been and must continue to be, we condemn any manifestation of bigotry on our campus — especially from our faculty.”
A group called Oberlin Alums for Campus Fairness expressed concern earlier this week that the college had not taken any further steps to address.
In an apparent response to Krislov’s letter, Karega wrote a new Facebook post that began: “Equitable?” She then expressed gratitude to her supporters and wrote that she had no further comment.
[Photo: Oberlin College / YouTube ]