Patti Adler, CU professor in prostitution skit controversy, to retire

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Photos, video below.
Last month, CU professor Patti Adler was called on the carpet over a prostitution skit that's long been part of a class entitled "Deviance in U.S. Society," with Adler supporters blasting the university for what they saw as attacks on academic freedom and Adler personally.

In the end, the administration backed down, allowing Adler to teach the class with minimal changes. But yesterday, she told students she's resigning at the semester's end.

As we've reported, Adler says the prostitution lecture has been part of her class for many years. In it, she has teaching assistants portray prostitutes who fit into assorted categories: "slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services."

The TAs, who Adler says volunteer to take part, then appear at the class in costume, with the prof conducting script-based mock-interviews featuring their comments about the specifics of their jobs and the inherent risks.

Here's a screen capture from one of the skits, as seen in a 9News report on view below:

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Even though participation in the lecture is said to be "entirely voluntary and not part of anyone's grade," Adler told the publication Inside Higher Ed that her approach troubled Steven Leigh, College of Arts and Sciences dean, after he heard from an ex-TA who'd "raised a concern that some participants might be uncomfortable." Adler says Leigh mentioned the "post-Penn State environment" -- a reference, presumably, to the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal -- in the context of suggesting that the prostitution lecture presented "too much risk."

Adler says Leigh gave her the option of accepting a buyout from CU or sticking around but agreeing not to teach the course and present the prostitution lecture -- both of which struck her as violating the letter and spirit of academic freedom. But after a contentious meeting at which associate sociology professor Leslie Irvine called for the resignation of provost Russell L. Moore for allegedly implying that Adler was under investigation for sexual harassment in a letter to students (a charge CU denies), Leigh sent a letter to the prof inviting her to teach the "Deviance" class again next semester.

The only caveat, according to the Boulder Daily Camera, is that she get "full informed consent" from teaching assistants who take part in the prostitution skit -- something she insisted she'd always done.

This appeared to be a complete victory for Adler. So why is she choosing to walk away?

Continue for more about Patti Adler's decision to retire, including another photo and two videos.


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13 comments
Jen Ant
Jen Ant

That's too bad. The teachers that actually care enough to make class time fun and interesting are the ones that get the finger pointed at. CU is losing someone great.

Jen Ant
Jen Ant

How narrow minded. Skits are a great way to learn material - people are visual and today's students don't want to read everything out of a book. SO yes. SKITS are a great way to communicate ideas. "Some participants might be uncomfortable" is a sign that you have the students attention. That they have looked up from their instant messaging and texting from their phones. I find your comment to be laughable considering you chose not to go to College. You have no idea what is "SUPPOSED" to be happening in a College classroom.

Travis Page
Travis Page

Holy shit, is that Weird Al Yankovich?

Caroline B. Younger
Caroline B. Younger

this is laughable....I'm glad I didn't spend my parents hard earned money on college. This is a class? I spent my college years in NYC and learned all about deviance in society....this to me isn't appropriate for a class unless it is a theatre performance based class.

Tedward Geissler
Tedward Geissler

I dug up my old Constructions of Deviance text from that course last night! Read up people, Adler drops knowledge!

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Another dumb-ass liberal loon bites the dust.  Unfortunately, in academia, there are predominately only more liberal loons to replace her.  

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @fishingblues Is cracker and that other twisted fuck your new butt buddies?  Do you copy them on all of your drivel now?  Can't handle fb on your own so you are looking for some help?  You won't get much from those two retarded fucks.  

You are on your own, fuck-stick, as frightening  as that proposition is.  

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