Minnesota college staff call for president's resignation over Muhammad drawing debacle
Faculty leaders at a Minnesota college that dismissed an art history instructor who showed depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in a course have overwhelmingly called for the university president to resign.
Faculty leaders at Hamline University said 71 of 92 members who attended a meeting Tuesday voted to call on President Fayneese Miller to resign immediately.
They say they lost faith in Miller because of her handling of a Muslim student's objection who said seeing the artwork violated her religious beliefs.
The adjunct instructor who showed the artwork, Erika López Prater, sued the private liberal arts school last week after it declined to renew her contract.
It later went on to say, "As we no longer have faith in President Miller’s ability to lead the university forward, we call upon her to immediately tender her resignation to the Hamline University Board of Trustees."
"Like all organizations, sometimes we misstep," she said in a joint statement with the chair of the school’s trustees.
Based on all that we have learned, we have determined that our usage of the term ‘Islamophobic’ was therefore flawed."
A Hamline spokesman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Miller and her team were discussing how to respond to the faculty vote.
HAMLINE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR FIRED FOR SHOWING IMAGES OF MUHAMMAD HAD WARNED STUDENTS IN SYLLABUSLópez Prater showed centuries-old artwork depicting the Prophet Muhammad in an October lesson on Islamic art.
López Prater said she knew that visual depictions of him violate many Muslims' faith, so she warned the class ahead of time.
The instructor alleged in her lawsuit that Hamline subjected her to religious discrimination and defamation, and damaged her professional and personal reputation.
The group said professors who analyze images of the Prophet Muhammad for academic purposes are not the same as "Islamophobes who show such images to cause offense."