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Faculty member invites partisan politics into classroom, email says

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An Ohio State faculty member has reportedly asked fellow faculty members to open their classrooms to organizers from President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in the weeks leading up to the election.

According to an email from OSU Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Alutto, University President E. Gordon Gee received an email regarding an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the situation.

The email did not specifically name the professor, but the Chronicle of Higher Education reported him as Brian McHale, an OSU English professor.

In the email to faculty, Alutto said that the university legal counsel has determined that faculty must not participate in partisan politics, which includes “inviting political organizers into our classroom.”

“Simply put, partisan political discussions may not be sponsored by university employees on the Ohio State campus,” he said. “I urge you to refer to the guidelines regarding political activity by employees of the university.”

Attempts to contact McHale Thursday afternoon were not immediately returned.

According to an Associated Press polls released last week, Obama leads 50-44 over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the Ohio polls. The random survey of Ohio residents was taken earlier this month.

Obama kicked off his reelection campaign at the Schottenstein Center on May 5, and made his most recent trip to Columbus last week for a campaign speech at Capital University.

Romney is expected to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention. He made a Central Ohio campaign stop Saturday in Powell, Ohio, a city about 30 minutes away from campus.

 

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