Professor suspended after publicly criticizing university's 'wokeness'

A professor at Concordia University Wisconsin was suspended for criticizing his university's woke agenda.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty is representing the professor during the suspension.

Rev. Dr. Gregory P Schulz, a philosophy professor and Lutheran pastor, was suspended from Concordia University in Wisconsin following the publishing of his Feb. 14 article ”Woke Dysphoria at Concordia.”

“Wokeness appears to be developing into a pathology at my ‘institution of Lutheran higher education’” Schulz wrote in Christian News article, criticizing the direction of Concordia University. 

Five days later, Schulz discovered that he was suspended from the university. He apparently did not know why, even after getting locked out of his university email account and banned from all campus properties. 

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Schulz continued, Our institutional dysphoria at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) has come to light – and has been exacerbated by the search for a new university president and the manner in which our Board of Regents and, in particular, its Executive Board and its Search Committee who have been pushing for a president who will be, in their own words, ‘disruptive’ and ‘transformational.’”

Campus Reform reached out to Daniel Lennington at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, the attorney representing Schulz during the ongoing suspension.

Lennington told Campus Reform that they are calling for the suspension to be lifted “immediately.”

“Every day that goes by is a harm to Dr. Schulz, who was guaranteed both academic freedom and due process. But he received neither the freedom nor the process promised to professors at Concordia,” Lennington said. 

”The search for a new president is a public debate: why must a professor refrain from such a debate? Concordia has not explained, but simply ordered him to ‘recant,’” he added.

On Feb. 28, the Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) wrote a letter to Concordia’s interim professor, William Cario, expressing its objections to the suspension of Dr. Schulz.

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“Principles of free speech include the right of professors to speak in public matters of public concern without the threat of sanctions by their university employer,” the letter reads.

AFA demanded that Concordia University “live up to its free speech commitments in the case of Professor Gregory P. Schulz,” arguing that he should not suffer any “formal consequences” due to the publishing of the article. 

Lisa Liljegren, AVP of Strategic Communications at Concordia University Wisconsin told Campus Reform that she is unable to comment on “personnel issues” and instead provided the university’s official statement regarding the search for a new president. 

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