Group censures Stillman for unjustified firing

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Stillman College has been censured by a national watchdog group that says the school violated rules of academic freedom and due process when it fired an outspoken professor.

The action came from the American Association of University Professors.

It does not have any authority over colleges, but a censure from the organization is commonly regarded as an embarrassment within the academic community.

Ekow Hayford was fired in April 2008 after the college said he violated a prohibition outlined in the faculty handbook against malicious gossip.

Hayford claimed his dismissal was in retaliation for criticisms of Stillman published in The Tuscaloosa News in November 2007.

He had also criticized Stillman President Ernest McNealey and often asked the president critical questions at faculty meetings.

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