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UI professor leaves after email scandal refusing to accommodate student

The+Disability+Resources+and+Educational+Services+is+housed+in+Champaign.+Professor+Michael+Schlesinger+is+no+longer+teaching+at+the+University+after+refusing+to+provide+a+student+electronic+notes%2C+even+after+DRES+became+involved.++
The Disability Resources and Educational Services is housed in Champaign. Professor Michael Schlesinger is no longer teaching at the University after refusing to provide a student electronic notes, even after DRES became involved.

The Disability Resources and Educational Services is housed in Champaign. Professor Michael Schlesinger is no longer teaching at the University after refusing to provide a student electronic notes, even after DRES became involved.

Daily Illini File Photo

Daily Illini File Photo

The Disability Resources and Educational Services is housed in Champaign. Professor Michael Schlesinger is no longer teaching at the University after refusing to provide a student electronic notes, even after DRES became involved.

Jessica Bursztynsky, News editor

An Atmospheric Sciences professor at the University is under fire after refusing to provide a student with electronic lecture notes, even after Disability Services confirmed the need for accommodation.

Michael Schlesinger BCC’d his entire Climate and Global Change (ATMS 140) class in an email with Rachel Graddy, Division of Rehabilitation and Education Services disability specialist.

Schlesinger said that he should not have to give one student an “advantage” over other students in the course.

He added that he offered to pay for the student to have a note-taker in the class.

“Frankly, I think the University needs to rethink having people such as you,” Schlesinger wrote to Graddy.  

Due to Graddy’s “coercive emails” about the issue, Schlesinger said he was leaving his position at the University.

“I look forward to spending the remainder of my life in Kona, Hawaii,” he wrote.

Graddy declined to comment, saying in an email: “The matter regarding Dr. Schlesinger is confidential and currently under investigation. I and DRES have no comment on this matter due to its confidential nature.”

Atmospheric Sciences Department Head Bob Rauber was at class on Sept. 8, and told students they would have another professor for the semester. Rauber did not go into details, said Ed Pearson, freshman in LAS.

Brad Petersen, LAS director of communications and marketing, confirmed that Schlesinger “is not teaching at the University at this time.”

Schlesinger, who has been teaching in the department since 1989, told his students on Sept. 7 that he could not lose his integrity.

“I can not teach at an institution that allows, and fosters, someone who pummels me for the way I have taught for 41 years,” Schlesinger wrote on Thursday.

Before the email chain, students weren’t aware that their professor would be leaving just four lectures into the course.

“I guess that was his way of him telling us that he was quitting,” Pearson said. “He never said anything about this during the class. I admire his work as a scientist, but I was not even aware this was an issue.”

Schlesinger’s refusal to accommodate a student with a disability violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Act is a federal statute which aims to ensure that students with disabilities have the same opportunities as other students. If DRES confirms the need for additional resources, the University must comply.

“The student can’t just say they need (services),” said Janet Peters, project coordinator for education and assistive technology at the Great Lakes ADA Center. Each person must go through a process with the school’s disability services center, she added.

In an email shared on social media, Rauber wrote to Schlesinger that DRES determined the student’s need for electronic notes. Rauber declined to comment on the email.

Schlesinger’s refusal to comply “would likely be a violation of both ADA and Section 504,” Rauber wrote.

Rauber went into further details, saying that the student would not receive notes for unattended classes and would be punished for sharing any notes on social media or with anyone else.

“I hope this information results in resolution of this matter,” Rauber wrote.

Peter Berg, project coordinator of technical assistance at the Great Lakes ADA Center, said a student with a disability is not going to have an easier time than other able-bodied students.

“That’s never an appropriate or legitimate defense in accommodation,” Berg said. “It’s not that the student is being afforded something better than the other students. The ADA doesn’t require better benefits or better opportunities.”

If Schlesinger stayed in his position and continued to refuse to comply, the repercussions would fall on the University, Berg said.

If the student filed a complaint, the focus would be on ensuring this is not an issue in the future, rather than suing for money damages, he added.

Yet the University has a strong record of supporting students with disabilities, so Berg said there isn’t an alarming pattern resulting from this instance. He added that administrators may try to provide annual training for professors to remind them of their responsibilities in the classroom.

“Even if a professor left, at the end of the day the University still has the obligation to accommodate the student in this course,” Berg said.

[email protected]

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Sept. 13. 

62 Comments

  • Alex

    I failed this very class due to an unknown, undiagnosed disability. It isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault that I didn’t know yet what was happening with me. When I was diagnosed, DRES helped me find the resources I needed to learn and eventually graduate. That said, lots of classes at this school are too structured towards obedience and weeding out rather than learning and performance. If having the material is an unfair advantage why not give everyone the material so people can listen and think during lecture instead of scribble.

    • Man with Axe

      Because they won’t listen and think. They will be on facebook .

  • Just Saying!

    Cheating is a problem and I understand the professors concerns, you want the class as fair as possible for everyone. He offered to pay for a note taker, that is admirable. My guess is the professor was not aware that the power point is used in the disabled students software. There are times where you have to take that minor extra step to help a student, we do this because we are still (for now) a decent society, a civilized society and a caring society. Also, the student wasn’t asking for anything more than what was needed. How did this go off the rails so fast, who did what, thats the question that needs to be investigated.

    • Don

      I agree with most of what you said, but I do not see any potential for cheating here. Notes taken by hand can be shared by students in the class and allow students to have notes they didn’t take anyway. There should be no significant difference between handwritten notes and the Powerpoint slides unless the slides are too dense to take complete notes of, in which case they reduce the class to a speed-writing contest and – coming from an educator – should not have been used at all.

    • JM Andy

      He was required to accommodate the person under federal law (the ADA is a civil rights law). He was putting himself as well as the University at risk of a lawsuit/damages for refusing to implement the accommodation. He did not have a choice in the matter, it’s really that simple.

      • Christopher Nelson

        Accommodation is about providing a similar experience as everyone else. It is unclear in the article specifically what accommodations were being requested, and on what grounds was the professor disputing/refusing to work with those accomodations requests. I’ll will bet there’s a lot more to the story here than what is being reported.

  • Nikki Blight

    Strange that the material isn’t already available. Even 10 years ago, I had MANY professors who made their electronic notes and powerpoints available online after a lecture (or even before a lecture so students could print them and annotate the printouts). Sharing notes was also always pretty common.

    • Joe

      He stopped posting his slides online because his lecture attendance was near 0 BECAUSE 100% of his homework and exam questions were contained word for word in the slides. In his mind he thinks “giving out electronic notes means no one comes to class” when in reality it’s “if you write questions that require critical thinking instead of searching for a phrase in a powerpoint, people will actually need to come to lecture.”

  • Sheila Schneider

    As a graduate of the U of I, a current instructor at Parkland College, and a person with a disability, I first find the Professor’s involving his entire class in this very private and confidential issue to be horrendous. When I was an undergrad, it often took several emails to the professor of whatever course I was enrolled in to get appropriate accommodations (note taker, PDF’s, etc.) in order for me to complete my coursework. That being said, if the student had a DRES verified disability, this should not have been an issue. As to the possibility of “cheating” or “unfair advantage” in the course, this supposition is also horrendous. This student is only asking for an appropriate accommodation that they are entitled to under the laws afforded to them by the ADA and Section 504. If this allegation proves to be true, this professor should not be allowed to return to his teaching position.

    • Samuel Jones

      The man said he would pay for a note taker–your entitled viewpoint is a pox on society. Everyone has issues to conquer but not everyone demands extra privileges. I imagine Parkland is providing you with accommodations now–maybe you don’t have to serve on committees or do things you don’t want to do. You’ll eventually find out that nothing is really free.

      • Meredith

        Fortunately, our federal government disagrees with you, and has since 1990. You can think whatever you want, but the law is the law.

      • Char Edson

        So the person with the disability has the onus of reading another’s possibly sloppy handwriting? No. Hence the request for electronic files.

        • Man with Axe

          The notes could be typed out after class.

  • Catherine Jean Prendergast

    The U of Illinois should be training all its faculty how to handle accommodation requests. It is in the university’s best interest to do so. Failure to comply with federal law opens the university up to legal suit. But as a more practical and immediate matter, students with disabilities are too often left negotiating with faculty who may or may not be knowledgeable and/or friendly. As faculty, we take mandated sexual harassment training. We take mandated ethics training. It wouldn’t be hard to fit a few slides pertaining to compliance with disability law in the latter.

    • Charles Lam

      They do. Professors can make life difficult on this. And its not hard for this professor to work with the dept. This prof just had a chip on his shoulder or it definitely sounds like it.

      • Catherine Jean Prendergast

        I have never had any formal training on disability law compliance in my twenty years on faculty.

        • Optimistic-Cynic

          I don’t want to put this back on you, but I don’t work there so can’t help. I’d strongly suggest – as it sounds like you’re open and willing to learn! – contact your campus DSS (or whatever it’s called there) office and ask them to put together a workshop or presentation for faculty. In my experience, those offices are almost always excited to connect with faculty to provide information and resources.

          • Catherine Jean Prendergast

            This is not a personal problem I have. I teach disability studies. My point is that training faculty how to comply ADA federal law should be no less a priority than training faculty how to comply with other federal and state lines. I’m noting a disparity in institutional attention, and the undesirable result.

          • Optimistic-Cynic

            Got it. And totally agree with you.

    • SethanielB

      I’m not entirely sure how much this is University Policy vs Federal law, but it’s my understanding that students and faculty are not supposed to do the negotiating between themselves.

      The campus resource center has the training and expertise and should be acting as an intermediary like this:
      The student provides the resource center with the documentation of the issue -> the center assess the appropriate accommodation with the student -> then works with faculty to facilitate that.

      Again, that may just be my university’s policy but it removes the problem of faculty without training and expertise from having to make accommodations.

  • Adam Hartbrayker Barnett

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/00884d2e657611a939d8ad2b35e67f96c46f60129eb40e12e0c1dcb802d6143b.png

    Schlesinger used to send some pretty goofy e-mails when I was in his class four years ago. One time, he bcc’d us all on a personal note to the Pope. He also bcc’d us on an e-mail to Rachel Maddow.

    The weird thing is that he sent us his Powerpoints for each class, so I have no idea why he would refuse to send electronic notes to anyone, let alone someone under the ADA.

    • Joe

      He is literally too smart and stubborn to see the bigger picture. If 100% of your homework and exam questions are contained word-for-word in the lecture slides, and you give everyone electronic copies of the slides, no one will come to class. In his mind it’s “electronic notes = no attendance” when in reality it’s “if you wrote questions that required thinking instead of ctrl+f-ing for a word, you wouldn’t be having this problem.”

      • Man with Axe

        If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that the professor’s notes should be relatively terse, in which case they are of no use to the disabled student.

        • Joe

          Terse is not the right word. This entire thing is over the fact that he used to freely distribute all his powerpoint slides online to all his students, but his homework assignments and exam questions were literally just “fill in the blank” sentences copied straight from his lecture slides. So when he used to give everyone his lecture slides, no one came to class because they could get 100% on all the assignments and exams by just looking at his lecture slides, and filling in the blanks. In his mind, the solution to this was “i’ll stop giving people electronic copies of my lecture slides, so they will have to come to class to get a hard copy, thus raising attendance” which is just a band-aid. The real solution would be actually writing legitimate questions that require extrapolation or critical thinking to answer, and continuing to give your students electronic copies of your notes. If he wants to keep teaching the way he teaches, the correct response to this is “yes i would gladly email this one disabled student electronic copies of my powerpoint slides, just like I always used to do for all of my students in years past” but instead he blew up and went on a big rant about going out of his way to accommodate for the few as if sending someone his electronic slides is going to completely derail his class back to the way it used to be when 80% of people didn’t come to class because he was emailing everyone the answers to all his homework and exam questions.

          • Man with Axe

            I don’t know the man, so I’ll take your word for how he teaches. But I have been a university professor, and I know a bit about these things generally. My own classes were set up so that it was virtually impossible to get a good grade without attending. I wouldn’t have dreamed of providing slides to students who didn’t attend. I didn’t provide them to students who did attend. I believed that taking notes in one’s own hand diminished the tendency to drift, and kept students attentive to the class discussion. I found that to be true when I was a student, myself.

            Regardless of his past practice of sending out slides to all students, he doesn’t want to do that now. That is his prerogative. He has one student who wants to get them anyway, because of his disability. The professor prefers a different accommodation that would have solved the student’s problem without forcing the professor to put his slides out there where he doesn’t want them. I still don’t see why this solution doesn’t satisfy both of them.

          • Courtney

            How could you without knowing the nature of the student’s disability?

          • Man with Axe

            It’s hard for me to imagine a disability that would be accommodated by the professor’s electronic slides but not by class notes. Especially if those notes were typed up and made into slides, if the student had to have slides. In this way we could avoid the professor having to put his own slides out into the public domain.

          • Lisa E.

            The reason it’s hard for you to imagine is because you have zero understanding what it’s like for a student with a processing disorder, or poor working memory skills, or autism, or a host of other disabilities. Working from class notes inevitably means selective notes taken from the professor’s point of view (the same holds true if a peer note taker was hired), which may not contain enough information for someone with a disability to process the information presented. I don’t think asking for electronic notes from a paid faculty member is an unreasonable ask- far from it. And yes, I do care about balancing the accommodation with the burden it places on the faculty and school, but the school should play a part in ensuring that balance is kept by adequately staffing the Disabilty Resources Department, providing professional development and training, and above all remembering what the overall mission is- to educate! If that means a few students who are “gaming the system” (or who might have an invisible disability that you didn’t bother to learn about) get through, then so be it. At least many more disabled students would have received services that needed it.

          • Man with Axe

            You don’t know about my knowledge or lack thereof about disabilities. You owe me an apology.

            While I wait for that apology I’ll respond to the substance of your argument. I have taken notes. I have created slides for the classroom. I have had paid note-takers take notes for disabled students in my classes.

            Here is my point: The disabled student, S, wants to get the information he needs to pass the class. His preference, along with the expert, E, is to have the professor, P, provide P’s slides electronically, which of course, makes them infinitely copiable and P doesn’t want to do that.

            What information is on those slides? I would think that they would only contain the bare-bones of what will be discussed in class. Why? Well, no professor I’ve ever seen, and I’ve observed many, puts every word on his slides. The slides are an outline. Even extremely detailed slides are still an outline, with a lot of additional information and discussion necessary to flesh them out.

            In class, several things happen. First, P will have additional information to provide to the class that was not on the slides. Second, students will make excellent points that were not on the slides but are worth knowing. Third, topics not on the slides will sometimes be discussed, as a student asks an interesting question that leads to a digression or something just occurs to P that he didn’t think about beforehand.

            S needs notes to capture all of this information. S cannot take the notes himself because of his disability. Perhaps he cannot read handwritten notes. Perhaps he cannot even read typed notes, but must have slides.

            A student can be paid to take the notes, type them into slides, and give them to S. What in God’s name is wrong with that accommodation? What is it that S could possibly want that he’s not getting from this accommodation, and that requires him to have the professor’s own slides?

          • Lisa E.

            To answer in kind: you know nothing of my background and assumed my lack of caring in an earlier reply. I could ask for an apology myself, but I don’t need that from you. I also don’t think I will get any sort of understanding from you on my perspective, so I will end the discussion here.

          • Man with Axe

            My suggestion that you did not care about the professor was based on your statement that “It does not matter what the professor prefers.” Whereas yours was based on nothing that I said.

          • Lisa E.

            That’s because the expert who set up the accommodations request saw the need to ask for electronic notes, not a note- taker. It does not matter what the professor prefers, because it
            is not his disability that is being accommodated. So yes, I do see why this solution didn’t satisfy. Stop putting more obstacles in the way of disabled students. Go take a look at what the unemployment rate and earnings potential is for someone with a disability, and then try to argue that these accommodations constitute an unfair advantage.

          • Man with Axe

            The “expert” likely did whatever seemed easiest for himself and his client, and cared not one whit for the professor, just as you don’t care.

            But an accommodation in disability law has to be reasonable. That language is right in the ADA. We can’t know if this particular accommodation is reasonable without knowing the cost it imposes on the professor, the very aspect of the situation that you don’t want to consider.

            I don’t want to put obstacles in the way of disabled students. But I don’t want to give in to their bullying, either, which I have seen on many occasions in my own career as an educator. There are students with genuine disabilities and there are students who game the system. I’ve dealt with many of both types.

  • Emily Paige Ballou

    Wait, punished for sharing notes??? Isn’t that a thing that non-disabled students are presumed to have the right to just do?

    I seem to remember actually being TOLD to get notes from a classmate if we had to miss a class and not bother asking the professor for them.

    • ychumanities

      That is different from getting the professor’s lecture notes. When a student takes notes, they are evaluating the material, rephrasing ideas in their own words and actively listening. Acquiring the professor’s notes eliminates all that. Who would take notes in class if you could just get the entire lecture paraphrased for you? Of course, if a student CAN’T take their own notes, that is a legitimate issue that must be accommodated. In my classes, it has always been dealt with by providing the student with a note taker. I wonder why that wasn’t an option.

      • Emily Paige Ballou

        No, I get that; that’s why most professors I’ve ever had highly recommend that you take your own notes. Still, I have never, ever heard of non-disabled students being prohibited from sharing notes. Usually professors WANT you to get someone else’s notes if you have to miss a class.

        As for who would still take notes if you could just get a whole lecture paraphrased, I would. A lot of people would. Reading a lecture broken down to bullet points just doesn’t have the same value as to how well I internalize the information. Many of my classes in college DID have online notes available, and I never used them. It just wasn’t worth it to me compared to going and taking my own. (Of course I was also in classes that I wanted to be in and mostly enjoyed being in; if someone is studying something that they don’t actually want to be studying, I don’t know how to help that.)

      • Christopher Nelson

        The option of having a note taker reportedly was an option. In fact, per the article, the professor stated that he offered to pay for the note taker.

        I fully agree with you that there is a vast difference between taking notes and receiving any instructor’s personal notes.

        Separately, the accusation that the professor was not accommodating seems to be overstepping, and poor journalistic reporting. The reporter states “Schlesinger’s refusal to accommodate a student with a disability violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.”
        To paraphrase, for the journalist to say that “the professor was in violation of…” is terrible journalism, as it is applying one’s opinion on the circumstances. More properly the reporter should have simply stated what the ADA law states, or alternatively “the professor is alleged to have violated…” , or “if the allegations are true, the professor would be in violation of…” It is then upon the reader to take into account the other facts that the journalist reports to then be able to draw a conclusion. It is paragraphs like the one I’m referencing that are examples of opinion rather that reporting facts. Hence the lack of trust in the media.

  • Don

    “I look forward to spending the remainder of my life in Kona, Hawaii.”

    How childish! Over a freshman level course, no less! It seems to me that this man is trying very hard to make any scene that makes him seem a little less dull, considering Adam’s comment on how he eager he is to make his students audience to his conversations with more prominent people.

  • KateOSee

    THIS is exactly why there are so few disabled people in academia (and elsewhere). The hoops we have to jump through for accommodations are ridiculous and then you have people like this professor who would literally rather lose his job than make accommodations that have been deemed by professionals to be necessary for student success.

    • JM Andy

      Keep in mind, though, that disability accommodations are not about a student’s success — they are about providing EQUAL ACCESS to the student with the disability. These are not “SPECIAL” services, this levels the playing field for students w/disabilities. A student who is blind needs Braille to read. A student with dysgraphia, AD/HD, other LDs…might need notes because they cannot process lecture and write at the same time.

  • iccg

    This is particularly astounding as U of I was perhaps the first land grant university to advocate for students with disabilities in a program started and run by Tim (last name evades me) several years before I did grad work there in early 60’s. There were many students there with an array of disabilities and types of assistance. I was told that he encouraged as much I dependence as the student could achieve.

    • Rhiannon Clifton

      Nugent was his last name.

      • iccg

        Thanks! Yes!

    • “What have you done for me lately”.

      • iccg

        ??

  • sufipeace

    As a brain-injured person< I know why she needed notes—I needed too. Because of my cognitive deficit, I needed them. And in 1983, one professor told about me—If hes brain injured, he doesnt have to attend my class. Fortunately things have come around now.

    • MikeCInMaine

      Agreed, but must you have the professors own notes, or would notes from a trained note taker work?

  • form

    U of I, be glad this guy “retired” himself. As you can see from the comments and from social media, the public is breathing a collective sigh of relief. We consider disabled people to be *valued* members of society, and college professors are employed to serve society, not themselves. Accessibility is not an “advantage” or even an opportunity. It’s an *avenue* to complete the onerous, but usually hidden work of completing a degree – transportation, physical/psychological self-care, learning to their strengths, etc. . Most students have the luxury of performing those tasks in total privacy. But, disabled students do not. Accommodations are an unavoidably public means of doing what nondisabled students do – EARNING their grade in the course.

  • Juliana S.

    Our university has the official policy of hiring a student note-taker in class. They used to hire someone external but decided that hiring a student would be win-win since the quality of notes will be higher and the note-taking student get paid. Not sure what UI’s policies are but it seems they put most of the burden on the instructors?
    That said I don’t really understand why this professor would not share his electronic notes. I’ve encountered several students with disabilities in my class and with the exception of one all of them were good, hard-working students. They participated actively, and tried their best to complete the assignments. All they need were some extra time to understand lectures and take exams, and a university and professors that are ready to help.
    And I’ve just allowed a student with disability to record my lecture. We talked through this privately and clearly she found recordings more helpful than notes taken by others. I guess in the end there should be some flexibility given to allow the professor and student figure out together a best solution. But I don’t see the point refusing a student’s request for notes plus bcc’ing everyone in class–that’s a breach of privacy without student consent.

  • californiagrad

    While the professor did not behave properly, it seems unfair that the DRES office could insist that he provide electronic lecture notes — maybe he didn’t have them or didn’t have them in state that would be comprehensible to the student. Some professors do still lecture with handwritten notes or very bare outlines.

    • SethanielB

      Not to sound harsh, but that’s on the faculty. For one thing, it’s federally mandated – so DRES is informing the faculty what their obligation is, but it’s the federal requirement.

      For another, I get that some folks prefer to use handwritten notes and may not be as comfortable with other technological options – but that’s not an excuse for refusing to work with DRES to meet the need of the student.

      He could have worked with his department and DRES to develop notes that met the requirement but also ensured that the student wasn’t getting an unfair advantage. Instead, he chose to throw a tantrum, violate a student’s privacy, break the law, and then quit.

      From the information we do have available, his refusal had nothing to do with inability to produce notes, he just didn’t feel like he had to because “I’ve always taught like this, why should I change now?” As a scientist (and an educator) he should be used to the concept of change, the scientific method is entirely based on the idea that things change as we gain new information – refusal to change is antithetical to science. The university (and those students) are likely better off now that he is gone.

      P.S. Just to clarify, I’m not attacking you (Californiagrad), just trying to elaborate on the issue as I see it. I hope my tone doesn’t come across the wrong way…

      • californiagrad

        I agree that it really doesn’t seem the professor’s actions are defensible. I guess my thoughts we’re really more related to a more general issue of balancing the needs of students without placing too much burden on faculty. All the Disability Services offices that I’ve worked with have been very careful in this regard and have provided note-takers or recording devices to students instead of requesting additional materials from an instructor.

    • Emily Paige Ballou

      If that were the problem, it seems like that’s the kind of thing a TA could work on for him? Instead of resign from his job rather than fulfill an ADA required accommodation?

    • Joe

      He used to provide the class with his powerpoint slides, but everyone stopped coming to class BECAUSE 100% OF HIS HOMEWORK AND EXAM QUESTIONS ARE WORD-FOR-WORD IN THE SLIDES. If he would write better questions he wouldn’t have this problem, but in his mind he thinks “if I give people my slides no one will need to come to class”. Which is absolutely true because his assignments are so banal you could get a 100% without ever coming to lecture if you had the slides.

  • Do most professors even have “electronic notes?” I am a history professor. I have very rough sets of bullet points of some names and dates that I use to punctuate the stories I tell. And at least half of most classes is the back and forth with students. When I use PowerPoint, it is images with captions only. I will bend over backwards for students, especially those with disabilities, but I am not sure what I’d do in this case.

  • Man with Axe

    As a professor, I would not want to hand over my actual class notes. They are full of stuff that I don’t want the students to see. I might have all sorts of thoughts that are meant for my eyes only.

    There is no reason I can think of why another student’s notes would not have been sufficient. They would probably be better than the professor’s notes, anyway, in that his notes may not mention a whole lot of stuff that he carries around in his head and doesn’t bother to write down, but that the students should write down. Points come up in class that are not in the professor’s prepared notes.

    To me this case is not about being unwilling to accommodate but rather what accommodation is warranted. In this case I vote with the professor.

    • Christopher Nelson

      Agreed. At what point do his intellectual property rights get respected regarding his own notes regarding his own lecture.

      Seems clear in the article that a note taker was offered, in fact at his own expense, but that was apparently deemed “not fair” or something?

    • Joe

      As someone who has taken his class, you should understand that the content in this man’s assignments is completely banal, and you can find 100% of the answers to the homework and exam questions in the lecture slides. He used to email his lecture slides to everyone in the class, and everyone stopped coming because you could literally get a 100% without ever coming to class. He thinks that sending out electronic notes means that no one will come to class, but in reality if he would just write better questions that require some critical thinking people might actually NEED to come to his lectures. Instead he has kept the questions and content exactly the same, but now he only gives hard-copies of the notes to people who come to class.

  • MikeCInMaine

    Hmmm. First let me say that i am an assistive technologist. I would like to see the reasoning for requiring the professor’s lecture notes rather than using a note taker. The professor’s own notes may be his IP.

    • Joe

      He definitely has powerpoint slides. He used to provide them to everyone in the class but he stopped when his attendance numbers dipped to basically nothing. Attendance dipped because the answers to 100% of his homework and exam questions are written word for word in the powerpoint slides, and you had literally nothing to gain by coming to lecture. If he wrote better questions he wouldn’t be having this problem.

  • GD Klein

    As an Emeritus Professor at UIUC let me just state that no one resigns a faculty appointment over an issue such as herein described. DI should do more due diligence and see what is really behind Dr. Schlesinger’s resignation. Based on my experiences at UIUC, there has to be a lot more to this situation than reported and it shouldn’t be too hard to determine what it might be.

    George Devries Klein
    Professor Emeritus, Geology, UIUC (Since 1993)

  • Sarah

    No one should be doing their job the exact same way for 41 years straight!