A professor at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, offered to give extra credit to students who participated in an anti-GOP tax bill activism event.
“Please join your faculty as we rally against the GOP Tax Bill that has serious implications to you and on Higher Education. This is an opportunity to gain additional extra credit,” the email from Kutztown Professor Mauricia John read. “Additional Extra Credit Opportunity!” read the email’s subject line.
The event in question was a rally against the GOP tax bill hosted by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. Professor John, a member of Kutztown’s anthropology and sociology faculty department, attached a flyer for the rally to the email she sent to her students.
John was ultimately forced to cancel the extra credit assignment after there was public concern that she was trying to influence the political views of her students. “Please note that the extra credit assignment announced yesterday is no longer available,” John wrote in a follow-up email after a public outcry. In place of attendance at the really, John offered an alternative assignment. According to an anonymous source that spoke with Campus Reform, the new extra credit assignment will be an essay on if “the wage gap between men and women in the U.S. will ever close.”
Surprisingly, the university defended John’s email in a statement, arguing that the tax bill rally was relevant to the subject matter of her class. “This was not an unusual situation, as the subject matter of her classes regularly cover social and political issues, current events, and other rallies that occur on campus, regardless of political affiliation,” the statement read. “Given the concerns that have been raised by the extra credit, the professor has retracted the assignment and provided alternate options for her students to complete.”
Despite his questionable conduct, Professor John has overwhelmingly positive reviews on the popular professor review forum, RateMyProfessor.com. “Dr. John is so amazing! She is so understanding and caring, and if you go to her for help, she will listen. She is there to help in any way that she is able to. She is so patient when it comes to her students, and she really helped me a lot when I was having issues. I highly recommend her!” one student wrote in October.