Allegations of threats and discrimination – that have characterized a controversy surrounding a Nov.8 lecture on Islam – will be part of a Tarrant County College investigation that is expected to include interviews of students in the class.
Professor Paul Derengowski’s Great Religions of the World class on TCC’s Southeast Campus grabbed headlines after a Nov. 8 lecture on Islam ended with two Muslim students questioning his source material. Other students in the class have reported feeling threatened by the events that unfolded. One of the Muslim students, Randa Bedair, apparently sent an email to students stating she felt Derengowski’s teachings were bias.
The controversy resulted in Derengowski’s Nov. 15 resignation.
Now, TCC is under community scrutiny to find out exactly what happened.
“It’s regrettable and we are doing the best we can to gather all the facts,” said Bill Greenhill, president of TCC’s Board of Trustees.
Greenhill said the administration is looking at various issues that have surfaced, including what type of threats or disturbance took place in the class, was there any discrimination involved, and was the professor’s syllabus appropriate for the class.
Greenhill said the investigation will include questioning all the students about the Nov. 8 incident – a process that will take place when finals are out of the way.
“We are not going to pounce on anybody’s rights,” Greenhill said. “We have to figure out what the facts are.”