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Pasadena Professor Accused of Altercation With Student Is Put on Leave


The Chronicle of Higher Education.  November 13, 2013.  A professor at Pasadena City College, in California, has been placed on paid administrative leave amid an investigation into a student’s complaint that the professor struck him during a class.

Gail S. Cooper, the college’s general counsel, said in an email to the Pasadena Star-News that the professor, Mark M. McQueen, had been placed on leave but added that he “continues in good standing with his regular pay during the investigation.”

The president of the college’s faculty association told the newspaper that Mr. McQueen had been teaching an English class on Halloween when the student stood up, began shouting expletives, and raised his fist. He said Mr. McQueen had raised his arm to protect himself. He also criticized the college’s decision to put the professor on leave as too swift, saying that it reflected an antifaculty climate at the institution.

McQueen is not the first faculty member to face problems on campus in recent months. Journalism professor Warren Swil has been on leave since March after a student alleged sexual harassment, and infamous “porn professor” Hugo Schwyzer ultimately resigned his post after a long-fought battle with administrators over his personal life and curriculum. Faculty members and students have been in conflict with administrators in recent years, and both the student and faculty have passed votes of no-confidence against President Mark Rocha. The Board of Trustees recently extended Rocha’s contract to 2017.

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