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Is SMU Human Rights Professor Secretly a Nazi Freak?

And in today’s edition of bizarre-as-hell lawsuits, the Observer has the court docs filed by a former Southern Methodist University professor who claims she was fired in retaliation for trying to blow the whistle on Rick Halperin, the founding director of the university’s Embrey Human Rights Program. Patricia Davis, the professor, says Halperin was having sex with students and running around his neighborhood naked while peeping into windows. Now, I’m certainly not condoning that kind of behavior, but that’s not really the part of the story that jumps out at me. Rather, it is that Davis claims Halperin (who is, remember, the head of a human rights program that leads an annual summer trip for SMU students to holocaust sites) is secretly obsessed with Nazis. From the suit:

He appeared obsessed with the Nazis (privately giving Nazi salutes, screaming ‘Achtung’ on the telephone, displaying huge posters of Nazi symbols and events in his office and watching hours and hours of pictures of bodies and Holocaust death camps on his office television)

  • Dubious Brother

    A little more research please – I do believe that for him to be considered a true Nazi Freak in today’s progressive USA he would have been voting in the Republican primaries, right?

  • David Burrows

    I had no idea Roy Scheider taught at SMU.

  • Brendan

    Shit, Wished I knew. Could have sold him a copy of my nove

  • heels
  • Student

    Incredible professor and an even better man. My life was forever changed after taking his class

  • Bill Marvel

    Here’s the problem with this story, Peter: It will probably be months if not years before all this works its way through the courts ad we get some sense whether the former SM professor is right or not. In the meantime the present SMU professor’s reputation is pretty much in the toilet. Suppose months from now we find out that this whole business was concocted out of bitterness and personal vendetta. How do you propose to start putting the professor’s reputation back together again. With a little item on frontburner?
    If the ex-professor’s charges are true, there will be plenty of opportunity — and plenty of evidence — to let the mud settle where it may. The ex-professor will have been vindicated. And you won’t have that awful feeiing that you’ve participated in a lynching.
    I know this runs contrary to the established practices of my lifelong p[rofession, journalism, where the impulse is, juicy lawsuit? Run with it! (If frontburner itself had investigated the behavior of the current prof and come up with damning evidence, of course, all bets are off.) But there are — believe it or not — deeper principles than those that govern The Scoop. Journalists have incredible powers and those we write or blog about usually have almost none. The damage we do, often in the name of journalism, cannot easily be undone by journalism.
    Take your wastebasket to the nearest open window, Peter. Dump it out. Then after a day or two go outside and try and retrieve those scattered scraps.

  • Lisa Burgin

    My daughter graduated from SMU’s Embrey Human Rights And Social justice graduate program, with Dr. Halperin as her advisor. Dr. Halperin should be commended for enriching the lives of so many of his students instead of having to endure this witch hunt. It is reprehensible that you are even printing these unsubstantiated and ridiculous claims. Did you even bother to talk to any of the Embrey Human Rights program students who have had their lives enriched by Dr. Halperin?

  • smu student

    This is a completely unfounded story, and it is truly appalling that someone would write such a thing about a great professor. I am currently in his Human Rights class in which we watched footage of Nazi Concentration camps, but it was strictly for academic purposes in learning about the Holocaust and WWII. Rick Halperin is a good person, and he is one of the best professors I’ve had at SMU. These defamatory remarks are coming from a biased and unreliable source.

  • smu student

    This is a completely unfounded story, and it is truly appalling that someone would write such a thing about a great professor. I am currently in his Human Rights class in which we watched footage of Nazi Concentration camps, but it was strictly for academic purposes in learning about the Holocaust and WWII. Rick Halperin is a good person, and he is one of the best professors I’ve had at SMU. These defamatory remarks are coming from a biased and unreliable source.