By WILL SPEARS, Assistant University Editor and JUSTIN McGUIRE, University Editor
Student activist Dale McKinley, who was convicted of two charges in Graduate Student Court Tuesday night and sentenced to definite probation through the end of next semester, may not be allowed to keep his job as a teaching assistant in the political science department, he learned Thursday. McKinley who is teaching Political Science 59 this semester said a letter from Jeffrey Cannon, assistant dean of students and judicial programs officer, informed him that the terms of his probation meant he couldn't continue teaching the class on contemporary Africa.
McKinley said he would appeal the decision by the 5 p.m. Monday deadline because his teaching salary represents 80 percent to 90 percent of his income. If prevented from teaching, McKinley would have to work full-time to pay for school, he said. "I wasn't going to appeal this (the honor court decision). It didn't concern me at all. But this is ridiculous. For me, it's basically expulsion." Should the appeals process fail, McKinley said he would take the case to a civil court.
McKinley, a graduate student from Zimbabwe and a member of the CIA Action Committee, was convicted of Campus Code violations stemming from an April 15, 1988, anti-CIA protest at Hanes Hall. No one else in the department would be able to teach the class because they would not have the necessary preparation. McKinley said. "Even if there was, the students would be totally disrupted. There are 50 students, and all of a sudden they're going to be out in the cold. The whole process has no respect for students."
Cannon confirmed Thursday that he had notified McKinley in writing of the terms of definite probation. Cannon said he could not comment further because the case is still pending. Richard Richardson, chairman of the political science department, said that as of Thursday he had received no word that McKinley wouldn't be allowed to teach. "We're proceeding with him teaching until I hear otherwise." The class will definitely continue, Richardson said, but the department will make a decision about a replacement instructor only if and when informed that McKinley is not allowed to teach.
Students reacted with disappointment to word that McKinley may be removed from teaching the class. "A lot of us signed up for the class because we knew he was teaching it," said Ericka Kurz, a junior from Middleton. Wis. "Our class is planning to do something about this jointly. If he goes, the class goes with him." The class could not go on without McKinley, Kurz said. "There is no one else in the department qualified to teach the class."
McKinley's absence would have an adverse effect on the class, said another student taking the course. "They really didn't consider the students in the class," said Alyssa Wood, a sophomore from Midlothian, Va. "Switching instructors in the middle of; the semester is really going to disrupt the class." She said students liked McKinley's teaching style because he let students discuss issues freely. "I think most people will really be disappointed if he's not going to teach the class anymore." McKinley will also be unable to speak at Human Rights Week, Nov. 12-18, he said. He had planned to speak, and the Black Student Movement was going to sponsor him.