Dr. Caroline Crocker was a biology professor at a large public university who mentioned intelligent design in a lecture and had her academic freedom rights trampled. Crocker was banned from teaching both intelligent design and evolution, and subsequently, her contract was not renewed.
She had had a three year contract and consistently received good course evaluations, but the department chair, having received a complaint about her handling of evolutionary theory, had her sign a new contract calling for an altered teaching load. He did this during one of Crocker’s classes, explaining that it needed to be taken care of quickly, so she signed the document without carefully looking it over.
The problem was that the department chair had secretly altered it to a one year contract, clearing the way to remove the professor at the summer break. Crocker applied for another position in academia, but a friend got the position. The friend ran into her and said she wasn’t sure why she had gotten the job since she wasn’t qualified for it. She also noted that for some reason the entire interview concerned her beliefs about evolutionary theory while neglecting a number of highly relevant issues.
Crocker, in contrast, had been highly qualified for the position. Crocker took a position at a community college, and her story leaked out to the faculty there. The chair protected Crocker’s position, but conceded to her that she was under “significant pressure to get rid of you.”
Crocker also reported that after her lawyer sent the letter seeking redress to the university that had not renewed the professor’s contract, they approached his law firm and promised the firm at least two large contracts if they would dump Crocker’s case.
Caroline Crocker’s story is featured prominently in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.