Officials with the Thomas More Law Center say they have filed a formal complaint challenging the accreditation of the National Defense University after officials there disciplined an instructor for teaching an approved course on Islam.
The law center said the complaint was filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredited NDU as a degree granting university, and the organization confirmed a preliminary review was launched.
TMLC said its complaint “provides overwhelming evidence that several NDU and Department of Defense (DoD) policies relating to academic freedom were violated when Lt. Col. (LTC) Matthew Dooley was removed from his teaching post as a result of demands by Muslim organizations that all training materials offensive to Islam be purged and instructors using the materials disciplined.”
Richard Thompson, law center president, said, “The actions taken against LTC Dooley are astonishing. NDU’s own policies recognize that academic freedom is essential to the integrity of the university classroom setting as well as U.S. national interests. In fact, the Department of Defense had specifically directed the National Defense University to establish a climate of academic freedom within the university, with the directed purpose to foster lively, classroom debate in the examination of national security issues. Contrary to these established policies, NDU and DoD have subsequently gone on to violate their own rules in handling this incident concerning the ‘Islamic Radicalism’ elective.”
TMLC also asked the commission to conduct its own confidential on-site interviews of NDU faculty members to determine the extent to which academic freedom has been diminished and what measures should be taken to insure the future integrity of NDU as a university.
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