April 28, 2011

Statement from the UMKC Provost

The University of Missouri-Kansas City continues to review approximately 18 hours of unedited video from the Labor, Politics and Society class. From the review completed to date, it is clear that edited videos posted on the Internet depict statements from the instructors in an inaccurate and distorted manner by taking their statements out of context and reordering the sequence in which those statements were actually made so as to change their meaning. Such selective editing is disturbing and the release of students’ images without their permission is a violation of their privacy rights.

We want to underscore our commitment to the importance of academic freedom, freedom of speech and the free-flowing discussion of challenging topics in our courses. We also recognize the serious responsibilities this places on us to ensure a balanced perspective is offered to our students within our curriculum.

In this particular case, we also affirm our belief that studying labor unions, their history, and their role in society is an important subject given the role they have played and continue to play in the United States and the world. As a result, we continue to review the appropriate place for such an offering within our curriculum.

During the course of our review the past couple of days, UMSL has accepted the resignation of its lecturer.

Gail Hackett, Provost
University of Missouri-Kansas City

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