Professor who sent controversial links via e-mails will
keep his job
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 23, 2007
Robert Anglen 12:00 AM
A Maricopa Community Colleges math professor who was threatened with
termination for sending college employees an e-mail linking to a conservative
Web site will keep his job.
College officials Friday announced Friday a settlement with Walter Kehowski, who
made national headlines this year after he was placed on administrative leave
for sending the e-mail linking to politician Pat Buchanan's Web site and a
transcript of a Thanksgiving proclamation by George Washington.
Under the terms of the agreement, the college will allow Kehowski to return to
the classroom in the fall. His use of the district e-mail system will be
The two sides agreed not to talk about the settlement, said a statement from
district spokeswoman Chris Chesrown.
Kehowski, who has sent controversial e-mails in the past, was placed on paid
leave from his job at Glendale Community College after five employees complained
that the November e-mail expressed anti-immigration sentiments.
Kehowski was suspended without pay for five days in September 2005 for sending
out similar messages.
In 2003, Kehowski e-mailed employees several Internet links that contained
statements about Hispanics.
Titles on the Web sites included, "Mexicans Think U.S. Belongs to Them!" and
"Mexican Double Standard."
As a result, a Latino civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit against the
colleges over what they described as Kehowski's racially charged messages being
allowed to go out unchecked on the college computer system.
College administrators said at the time that Kehowski had not violated any
school rules and that his right to use the computer was protected.
Chancellor Rufus Glasper notified Kehowski in March that he was going to
recommend his dismissal to the college governing board.
He said the e-mail links to Pat Buchanan's site and the 1789 Thanksgiving
proclamation violated the district's electronic communications policy, which
prohibits using district e-mail for private or personal matters.
Glasper's letter said Kehowski continued to disregard district policies despite
previous sanctions and directives.
A national free-speech group, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education,
which took up Kehowski's cause, demanded that the college exonerate him.
"This case would be almost funny if it wasn't having such serious implications
for the professor's life and livelihood," foundation president Greg Lukianoff
said in an earlier interview.
Reporter Anne Ryman contributed to this article.