The Colorado affiliate of the American Association of University Professors has accused its state’s flagship university of hostility to academic freedom and recommends that scholars accept employment at the school only as a “last resort.” The charge stems in part from the University of Colorado-Boulder’s refusal to renew the 2007 contract of Phil Mitchell, an adjunct history professor at CU for more than two decades whose Christianity and political conservatism alienated him from colleagues.

“Mitchell was terminated for exercising his best professional judgment in his classroom,” the report of the Colorado Conference of the AAUP determined. “Furthermore, his rights to free expression were not recognized.” The organization points out that the University of Colorado’s published policy on academic freedom doesn’t differentiate between tenured and untenured professors.

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