Maine university bans professor who planned protest course

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The University of Southern Maine barred from teaching a retired professor who organized a one-credit course for students to protest Republican Sen. U.S. Susan Collins in Washington as she considered then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

University president Glenn Cummings said in a statement Wednesday that Dr. Susan Feiner set up “an unauthorized class that advanced her personal political agenda,” the Portland Press Herald reported. Feiner has been banned from teaching at the University of Southern Maine and other University of Maine campuses.

Cummings says the “pop-up course” was hastily arranged without his or the provost’s knowledge.

The university pulled the course and no school funds were used to support the trip.

University spokesman Robert Stein said that “as far as we know,” no students participated in the bus trip to Washington, D.C. “If any students went, it was without credit and on their own,” he said.

Collins voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

As for Feiner, she said she didn’t plan to challenge the university’s decision. “I’m retired. It’s USM’s loss,” she told the newspaper in a text message.

Maine GOP Executive Director Jason Savage praised university’s actions. “President Glenn Cummings and the University of Maine System showed true integrity in dealing with this situation swiftly. We are very pleased to see immediate, and forceful, action taken on this matter,” Savage said in an email.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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