LOS ANGELES – A college speech instructor was placed on leave for giving extra credit to students who wrote letters to President Bush opposing a war with Iraq but declining any bonus to students who support war.
Louis Zellers, president of Citrus College in suburban Glendora, said adjunct speech professor Rosalyn Kahn was placed on administrative leave with pay starting this week, pending a review.
"That's inappropriate and we're not going to tolerate it," Zellers said.
Zellers said he would send a letter of apology to the White House.
Kahn did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
Adjunct Faculty United, the professors' union, promised to support Kahn.
"We do not believe that the instructor was given due process," said Jean Culp, the union' co-president.
College officials said Kahn also offered students extra credit if they wrote letters to a state senator protesting state budget cuts that would reduce the number of adjunct faculty positions and eliminate some college classes.
"This just demonstrates the level of self-interest involved in the assignment," said Samuel T. Lee, associate dean of language arts and foreign languages at the two-year community college.
Lee believes four to six letters were sent to Bush and more were delivered to the legislator.
College officials said the extra credit awarded by Kahn will be expunged and students will be given alternative extra credit assignments.
Kahn's speech class is required for students wanting to transfer to California State University or University of California campuses.