Still Teaching While Catholic?
Commenter Brassband notes, in the comment section of my post on the University of Illinois’ firing of a professor of Catholic thought for teaching Catholic thought, has been offered his job back (via American Papist):
The university released a statement today saying that Howell’s appointment as an adjunct instructor in the Religion Department — teaching Religion 127, Introduction to Catholicism — will be continued for the fall.
A review of whether Howell’s firing by the Religion Department violated his academic freedom is continuing, the university said.
In making the move, the university also announced it will now pay those teaching Catholic-related courses rather than have them paid by a church group.
That last point, though, is perhaps reason for concern:
… The prohibition against Dr. Howell’s association with the Newman Center is another violation of his academic freedom and it is likewise a violation of his freedom of religion. How many other adjuncts or part time faculty are prevented from working for an organization associated with their faith as a condition of employment?
The U of I appears to be making an economically untenable offer with the intent of voiding a 90+ year relationship with the Newman Center. I suspect that they are banking on the fact that since Dr. Howell cannot work for the Newman Center, which paid him a full professor’s salary, he will not be able to afford to take the position. The U of I is offering him perhaps a little more than a quarter of his Newman Center salary.
From a distance, it sure does look like an anti-religious political maneuver.