Anti-Republican remarks by Eastern Connecticut State University adjunct Professor Brent Terry have drawn a strong response from state Republicans.
On the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Larry Cafero called Terry’s comments offensive and urged him to apologize. He cited a rule that allows members of the chamber to make a point of personal privilege if they have been personally attacked.
“I am a firm believer in academic freedom, and I’m a firm believer that professors should have that freedom to express their views to their students,” Cafero said.
But, Cafero continued, “in many cases, certainly at a public university, students in a classroom are a captive audience. In this particular case maybe they just wanted to take a creative writing class. I find it offensive as a Republican, as a parent and frankly as a citizen of the state of Connecticut that we would have in our public universities a professor who would make such a comment.
“Because today it was about Republicans, tomorrow it could be about Democrats. Maybe the next day it could be about African Americans, Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, the list goes on and on,” said Cafero, R-Norwalk. He spoke for about three and a half minutes and his comments drew a hearty applause.
Cafero called upon the Terry to apologize to the students–and to the citizens of Connecticut. “I would hope upon reflection that Professor Terry would have the decency to apologize to his class and apologize to the state university that employs him and frankly, apologize to all citizens of the state of Connecticut for his inappropriate comment.”
Cafero added: “I would also call upon the administration of Eastern Connecticut State University to demand that apology from its adjunct professor.”
A spokesman for the university did not return an email seeking comment.
In a video obtained by Campus Reform, a website for young conservatives dedicated to exposing “bias and abuse” on college campuses, Terry is shown calling Republicans racists and misogynists.
“To refer to Republicans as ‘racist, misogynist, money-grubbing people’ is outrageous and offensive. And to make such a statement as a public employee teaching a class on creative writing at a public university is wildly inappropriate,” said Connecticut Republican party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. “Professor Terry’s attempt to indoctrinate his students constitutes a clear abuse of his position as a professor at a public university.”
Labriola called on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to look into what Labriola called a “clear abuse of a taxpayer-funded position.”