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U. of Colorado Professor Reportedly Is Forced to Retire After Prostitution Skit

Patricia A. Adler, a longtime sociology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, reportedly has been asked to retire at the end of the semester after university officials found a skit she used in a lecture on prostitution to be objectionable. Ms. Adler told students in her “Deviance in U.S. Society” course on Thursday that the class was the last she would teach at the university, The Daily Camera, a local newspaper, reported.

The newspaper could not reach Ms. Adler for comment, and a university official said only that Ms. Adler was still a tenured faculty member. In a posting on Facebook, however, Ms. Adler wrote that she was being pressured to accept early retirement. “The culture of political correctness along with the culture of fear shoved me through the process in less than a week without even a complainant or a legitimate investigation,” she wrote. “It is frightening that a full, tenured professor would be treated this way on the first time a concern is raised, with no possibility to react to the concerns.”

Students quoted by The Daily Camera said Ms. Adler had told the class that the administration thought her lecture on prostitution was inappropriate, degrading to women, and offensive to some minority communities. The lecture, which was given as a skit earlier this fall, involved current and former teaching assistants portraying prostitutes and describing what had led them into prostitution. On the day of the lecture, several people who did not appear to be students attended the skit and took notes, the students said.

They said Ms. Adler told the class on Thursday that she had tried to negotiate with administrators and had offered to leave the skit off the syllabus in the future. But administrators reportedly told her that in the era of sex scandals at institutions like Pennsylvania State University, they couldn’t let her keep teaching.

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