BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The University of Colorado professor who was suspended from teaching her popular course on deviant behavior following a lecture on prostitution says she will return to class.
Professor Patricia Adler will be back in her classroom on Tuesday. But she is hesitant to go back to school.
“I am nervous,” said Adler.
The controversial “prostitution” lecture involved mock-interviews with various kinds of prostitutes, as a means of showing social order and deviant behavior. Inside Higher Ed reports that teacher assistants were asked to dress up as “slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services.”
Adler said she had been using the skit for a very long time.
“For the past 25 years every semester to 500 students,” said Adler.
In December 2013, Adler told students she would be leaving her “Deviance in U.S. Society” course, although the school had not given her the option of retirement, but had instead offered a two-year buyout.
Despite reports that she was being “forced out” for the controversial skit, the school issued a statement in December to students and faculty saying Professor Patricia Adler “has not been dismissed,” and that the school is reviewing the possibility of sexual harassment policy infringements.
Adler said CU tried to force her out but reconsidered after pressure from students and the ACLU proved to be too much.
“They got so caught by the academic freedom issue that they had to back down and to save face they said, ‘Well, a committee in the sociology department has to review it,’” said Adler.
“She was never fired or any kind of probation. We fully expected her to come back and teach class,” said CU spokesman Bronson Hillard.
Hillard said the committee has given the okay with one exception, “They came forward with a report that said if you can obtain consent from students in some way for that skit then we recommend that you go ahead.”
Adler said other than the consent forms the content of her lectures will stay the same. But there is one change.
“I teach like it is my living room and I teach my students like they are my friends and I am very real. Am I going to be able to be like that?” asked Adler.
CU said their biggest concern is making sure students do not feel pressured to participate in that skit or be worried that their academics will suffer.