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MSU conservatives press for more action against professor

6:15 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Michigan State University professor William Penn has been reassigned after a rant in class against Republicans. / Lansing State Journal file photo

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - Michigan State University trustees heard Friday from two people disturbed about Professor William Penn's statements in this year's opening day of classes.  

In video captured by a student, Penn, a tenured and award-winning professor, is seen and heard railing against Republicans for "raping the country" and suppressing the votes of black voters.

The university last week removed Penn from teaching his two classes this semester.   A university spokesman said Friday those two classes represented about 40% of Penn's work load.

MSU trustees, in their first meeting since the incident broke last week, did not address the issue, but heard from alumnus Chris Fitzimmons and current student Mat Bedard, of the MSU Campus Conservatives.

Bedard, a political science major from Grand Ledge, said: "Simply removing Professor Penn from his teaching duties is not enough. Placing Penn on paid leave is the equivalent to giving him a paid vacation, which sets a terrible precedent for the university; students will only suffer when bigotry takes the place of learning."

Bedard said trustees were "cool" to his idea.   They had no comment on the issue.

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