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Oberlin College Fires Professor Over Anti-Semitic Social-Media Posts

Oberlin College on Tuesday fired a controversial faculty member who had drawn fierce criticism for social-media posts in which she claimed that “Israeli and Zionist Jews” were responsible for the 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.

In a statement, the Ohio college’s Board of Trustees said it had voted to dismiss Joy D. Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, effective immediately.

Ms. Karega had been on paid leave since August, when the liberal-arts college’s faculty opened an investigation into her “professional fitness.”

The Oberlin board said it had acted “after extensive consideration and a comprehensive review of recommendations from multiple faculty committees” as well as the college’s president, Marvin Krislov. The board, which earlier had denounced her postings as “anti-Semitic and abhorrent,” also said the dismissal was a matter of Ms. Karega’s “professional integrity and fitness,” not her academic freedom.

In particular, the board noted that the faculty inquiry had found Ms. Karega in violation of the American Association of University Professors’ “Statement of Professional Ethics” and that she had assailed her colleagues instead of taking responsibility for her misconduct.

Asked about the Karega case in an interview with The Chronicle that was published last week, Mr. Krislov said: “Academic freedom has limitations, and we follow the AAUP guidelines. What one wants on campuses is an exchange of ideas that is respectful and thoughtful and analytical — and that is done in a responsible way.”

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