War of Words: CofC professor suspended over syllabus

A longtime College of Charleston professor may not have a job next spring because of what he wrote in a course syllabus.

Dr. Robert Dillon spends most of his days in a lab off Meeting Street, but it is not entirely his choice. The biology professor was removed from his class 6 weeks into spring semester and will be on unpaid suspension in the fall because of a disagreement stemming from in his class syllabus.

Dillon, who has been at CofC for 34 years, put a lengthy Woodrow Wilson quote in the “student learning outcomes” section. According to Dillon, the university wants the class goals listed in that section. “They want me to put bullet point lists of trivialities my syllabus,” said Dillon “It’s not manipulating fruit flies, it is not making graphs using excel software, it’s none of this bullet point triviality stuff.”

This quote in the place of class objectives may force Dillon into an early retirement:
“The business of the world is not individual success, but its own betterment, strengthening and growth in spiritual insight – ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’ is its right prayer and aspiration.”

In a statement to News 2, CofC officials wrote the university “generally does not make public comment regarding employee disciplinary matters.”

Dillon says the ones who are suffering from this decision are the students and he just wants what is best for them. “It’s these box ticking bureaucrats with their clipboards,” said Dillon “and this is a stand I’m going to see through.”

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