David Protess founder of "Innocence Project" removed from teaching and forced to retire because of ethical problems

This is a pretty surprising event for academia: “You have the most lionized member of the faculty suddenly becoming somebody who is summarily removed from teaching with no notice and subjected to a kind of banishment." From the NY Times has this story about David Protess, a renowned journalist and professor:

But in a search of Innocence Project computers, the university turned up an e-mail from Mr. Protess to his assistant in 2006 that indicated the students’ reporting memos had been shared with the defense.

“My position about memos, as you know, is that we share everything with the legal team, and don’t keep copies,” he wrote, referring to Mr. McKinney’s lawyers.

But the copy of the e-mail he provided to university lawyers was altered to read, “My position about memos, as you know, is that we don’t keep copies.”

Mr. Protess said that he altered the e-mail to reflect the actual practice of the Innocence Project as he remembered it.

“Everybody assigns sinister motives to what I did, but my intent was not to mislead; it was precisely the opposite,” he said. “My part was due to memory failure about the extent to which I had shared student memos with the defense, and then I stubbornly stuck to that position when I felt ganged up on by everybody else.”

With the discovery of the e-mail, what had been a publicly united front broke down behind the scenes. At a hastily called faculty meeting at Medill on April 6, Mr. Lavine presented his colleagues with a PowerPoint presentation of statements and actions by Mr. Protess that the dean considered misleading, and asked for opinions. But by the time the faculty members got back to their desks, a press release had already been issued announcing Mr. Protess would not be teaching spring semester and making it clear he would not be welcomed back after that. . . .

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