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Hamline Case: Academic Freedom and Respect for Religious Beliefs

This guide is a compilation of media coverage, analysis and other resources for your consideration of the case at Hamline University.

The recent case at Hamline University has sparked much discussion about the meaning of academic freedom in theory and in practice. The goal of this guide is to provide resources that help our community reflect on how we can best uphold our commitment to academic freedom, while demonstrating respect for religious beliefs. 

This guide is not intended to be exhaustive and includes only items that are publicly available or available through a St. Thomas institutional subscription. The Hamline case has received extensive local coverage through venues such as the Star Tribune. Where possible, that content has been linked, but other content may only be accessible through individual subscriptions.

What Happened?

The Hamline University Muhammed Controversy: What Happened?Interfaith America Magazine, January 13, 2023.

Media Coverage

American Association of University Professors: Report Finds Hamline Violated Academic Freedom, Pioneer Press, May 23, 2023.

Hamline Faculty Call on President to Resign: 71 of 92 Faculty Vote to Urge President Fayneese Miller to Step Down Immediately Over Islamic Art Controversy, Star Tribune, January 25, 2023

Hamline Faculty Ask President to Step Down, MPR News, January 25, 2023

Art Dispute Bares Hamline Fault Lines: Some Faculty Raise Leadership Concerns as President Faces International Blowback, Star Tribune, January 24, 2023

After Lecturer Sues, Hamline University Walks Back Its 'Islamaphobic' Comments, New York Times, January 17, 2023.

Hamline Reviews Policies That Set Off Academic Freedom Dispute, Inside Higher Ed, January 17, 2023. (NOTE: includes image being discussed)

The Academic Freedom Controversy that Won't Die, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13, 2023.

Muslims Differ on Hamline Dismissal: State, National Groups Disagree on Instructor Who Showed Art of Prophet, Star Tribune, January 14, 2023.

U of M Professors Say Hamline Admin Compromised Academic Freedom, MPR News, January 13, 2023.

A Hamline Adjunct Showed a Painting of the Prophet Muhammad. She Lost Her Job., New York Times, January 7, 2023.

Hamline University Under Fire for Art Professor's Dismissal, AP News, January 13, 2023.

National Muslim Civil Rights Group Voices Support for Former Hamline Professor, MPR News, January 13, 2023.

Hamline Student, Former Instructor at Center of Debate Over Religion, Academic Freedom Speak Out, MPR News, January 11, 2023.

Hamline University Religious Art Controversy Garners Increased Public Outcry, MPR News, January 12, 2023.

Editorials & Opinion Pieces

When Religious Conformity Trumps Academic Freedom, New York Daily News, December 27, 2022.

Opinion: The Staggering Mistake Hamline University Made is No Isolated Incident, CNN, January 9, 2023.

Muslim Professor: Showing Muhammed Wasn't Offensive, but Hamline Response Is, MPR News, January 11, 2023.

DEI's Religion Problem, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13, 2023.

Letter to the Editor: AAUP, The Oracle, January 16, 2023. (Hamline University's student news organization)

Letter to the Editor on Islamophobia Accusations, The Oracle, republished January 10, 2023. (Hamline University's student news organization)

Hamline's Academic Freedom? Cloudy., Star Tribune, January 15, 2023.

The Role of Blackness in the Hamline Islamic Art Controversy, Religion News Service, January 12, 2023.

Hamline Agonistes, Inside Higher Ed, January 18, 2023.

Yes, DEI Can Erode Academic Freedom. Let's Not Pretend Otherwise. Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2023.

Discussions & Forums

UPCOMING Interfaith America Virtual Event Tuesday, January 31, 11 a.m. CT: Art, Religion, and Academic Freedom: Lessons from the Hamline/Prophet Muhammed Controversy 

UPCOMING Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights Virtual Event, Friday, February 3, 12 p.m. EDT: Protecting Academic Freedom, Empowering Muslim Students After the Hamline Controversy