Association comes to aid of BYU physics professor
By Lisa Carricaburu
The Salt Lake Tribune
POSTED 1:58 PM- A national organization that advocates for academic freedom on the nation's campuses has come to the defense of Brigham Young University professor Steven Jones, who the university placed on paid administrative leave last week while it investigates his research into alternative explanations for what happened on Sept. 11.
"This is a serious sanction against a faculty member over something he was not teaching in his classes," Eric Combest, associate secretary with the American Association of University Professors, said today. "Our basic position is that colleges cannot punish professors for opinions they express not as faculty members, but as American citizens." Combest said Jones has not contacted AAUP, nor has the organization yet had any formal communication with BYU.
AAUP felt compelled to comment about BYU's actions against Jones because those actions "strike us as egregious." Combest also noted previous clashes between his organization and BYU that have kept the school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on AAUP's radar.