Brooklyn College revokes instructor’s appointment to teach Mideast politics

Last fall, it was an assigned book that brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict home to Brooklyn College. A wealthy alumnus said he was cutting the college out of his will because all incoming freshmen had been asked to read “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America,” by Moustafa Bayoumi, a professor there.

This week, it was a course — a graduate seminar on Middle East politics scheduled for the spring semester. The focus of the dispute was the adjunct professor who had been appointed to teach it, a doctoral student whose writings raised hackles even before he set foot in the classroom.

On Thursday, the professor, Kristofer Petersen-Overton, said he had learned a day earlier that the college was rescinding his appointment, saying he lacked the academic qualifications to teach such a high-level course, reports the New York Times. But the timing of that decision has led Mr. Petersen-Overton and others to question whether the decisive factor might have been politics……Read More

Former student sues college over stay in a mental ward

She had come to New York from Nigeria after being admitted to the City University of New York’s most elite honors program, which gives students full tuition, a laptop and a $7,500 stipend. But in the late fall of her second year at Brooklyn College, in 2008, Sophia Chinemerem Eze went to the security staff there, saying she had experienced problems with her off-campus roommates and suspected that her landlord had planted a video camera in her bedroom. She wound up on a psychiatric ward at Kings County Hospital Center, and in a lawsuit filed last week, Ms. Eze says the college played a role in hospitalizing her without cause, reports the New York Times.

“It was a nightmare to her,” her lawyer, Andrew J. Spinnell, said on Thursday. “All she did was go to the college to report an incident that she felt was unseemly, and the next thing she knows she was at Kings County Hospital for two weeks.”

A Brooklyn College spokesman, Jeremy Thompson, said the college could not comment on the allegations because of the pending litigation. But he said the city’s Emergency Medical Service, not the college staff, decided to take her to the hospital……Read More