The University of Colorado at Boulder has revoked visiting professor John Eastman’s outreach and speaking responsibilities as a representative of the Benson Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
Eastman spoke alongside President Trump at the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., that directly preceded the riot that same day at the Capitol building by the president’s supporters. In his speech Eastman made baseless allegations of widespread election fraud.
“Effective Jan. 21, the University of Colorado Boulder relieved John Eastman of duties related to outreach and speaking as a representative of the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization,” the university said in a statement to the Daily Camera, in response to an open records request. “University officials determined Eastman’s continued pursuit of these duties would likely be disruptive and damage the interests of the campus and the Benson Center.”
Eastman faced widespread criticism for his role in the riots and attempts to overturn the results of a democratic election. Chapman University in California, Eastman’s home institution, announced on Jan. 13 that he would retire immediately.
Though faculty and students at Boulder have called for Eastman’s outright dismissal from the institution, Chancellor Phil DiStefano said in a Jan. 7 university statement that doing so would be in violation of Board of Regents policies around academic freedom and political expression. Despite having his speaking and outreach responsibilities revoked, Eastman will continue to be a visiting scholar, produce scholarship and teach previously scheduled courses. (Two of his courses, campus officials told the Daily Camera, were canceled for low enrollment). His contract expires in May.
The chancellor did say in his Jan. 7 statement that Eastman embarrassed the institution.
“His continued advocacy of conspiracy theories is repugnant, and he will bear the shame for his role in undermining confidence in the rule of law.”
The Daily Camera’s open records request also yielded Eastman’s offer letter. His academic salary is $185,000, for duties that include teaching, initiating a speaker series each semester and doing outreach. So far he has received $95,516.31 in salary and $6,000 for moving expenses.
In a statement to the Daily Camera, Eastman said Boulder “has retaliated against me for constitutionally-protected First Amendment activities. I will be exploring all options.”