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Feinberg professor resigns, citing censorship

Feinberg professor Alice Dreger resigned Monday after she said the University did not adequately address her concerns about academic freedom following the censorship of a bioethics magazine edited by Feinberg faculty.

Source: alicedreger.com

Feinberg professor Alice Dreger resigned Monday after she said the University did not adequately address her concerns about academic freedom following the censorship of a bioethics magazine edited by Feinberg faculty.

Madeline Fox, Summer Managing Editor

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Alice Dreger, the Feinberg School of Medicine professor who made headlines in April for live-tweeting her son’s sex education class, resigned Monday over the allegations of censorship of a magazine edited by Feinberg faculty.

As a part-time, non-tenure-track professor, Dreger’s position was renewed annually. Dreger had asked the Feinberg dean’s office to address her concerns about the censorship of the bioethics magazine Atrium in her annual letter of offer, she told The Daily on Tuesday. When the letter did not address her concerns, Dreger said she decided to submit her resignation, effective Aug. 31.

University spokesman Al Cubbage, speaking on behalf of Provost Daniel Linzer and the Feinberg administration, declined to comment except to wish Dreger well in her future endeavors.

After Feinberg administrators raised concerns about an essay in Atrium’s Winter 2014 issue — for which Dreger was the guest editor — all digital issues of the magazine were pulled offline. The essay described the author’s experience of a nurse performing consensual oral sex on him after he was paralyzed at age 18.

Although most issues were later restored, the one from Winter 2014, entitled “Bad Girls,” remained offline until May 2015, when Dreger told Feinberg she intended to publicize the magazine’s censorship. The issue was restored in response to “PR fear,” Dreger told The Daily in July.

“I had hoped until very recently that Provost Linzer would come around on the censorship issue,” Dreger said in aTuesday email to The Daily. “Provost Linzer made clear he wasn’t going to acknowledge the censorship problem in a way that would signify we could work without fear of offending the dean.”

In a post about her resignation on her website, Dreger said she will continue her “work as an historian of anatomy, as a writer, and as an (im)patient advocate,” including giving talks related to her recently published book, “Galileo’s Middle Finger.”

Dreger said she appreciated the backing she had received from NU in the past but no longer found the University to be a supportive environment.

“Northwestern University enabled me to work effectively and confidently, for a full decade, in the service of the disempowered and the wronged,” Dreger said in her resignation letter. “But I no longer work at that institution … Now, I work at a university at which my own dean thinks he has the authority to censor my work.”

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