Professor Dunn's Drama

The Claremont Colleges in California were shaken this month by a nasty hate crime allegedly committed against a psychology professor named Kerri Dunn. Two weeks ago, Professor Dunn reported to police that her car had been vandalized, its windshield smashed, tires slashed and body spray-painted with ethnic slurs.

Though a white woman, Professor Dunn had spoken the night before at a campus rally against racial intolerance. Claremont McKenna College (search) President Paula Gann immediately announced her school's closure, saying: "We cannot possibly carry on as a teaching and learning community if persons physically threaten property and person in a way that leaves no doubt that it was in response to speech."

The only problem is that police investigators now say the alleged hate crime never happened. It appears to have been a hoax perpetrated by none other than Professor Dunn herself. Prof. Dunn denies police accusations, but admits: "This is like a very big deal if they think I'm a suspect."

College President Pamela Gann says she is "shocked and surprised" to hear that police believe Prof. Dunn staged the event, and over the weekend Prof. Dunn was placed on paid leave.

And that’s the Asman Observer!