Student denied letter of recommendation for not believing in evolution
- By: Oveys Mansuri
A biology professor refusing to write letters of recommendation for students who do not believe in evolution is now under federal investigation by the US Justice Department.
The complaint was filed against Texas Tech University and professor Michael Dini by the Liberty Legal Institute on behalf of Micah Spradling, a 22 year old student at the university.
The Liberty Legal Institute is a religious freedom group that calls Dini's policy “open religious bigotry.” Spradling, who wants to pursue a medical career, needed a letter of recommendation from a biology professor but was uncomfortable with saying he believed in human evolution, as he did not.
University spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley has indicated that Texas Tech stands by Dini. Chancellor of Texas Tech, David Smith, responded in October 2002 stating, “A letter of recommendation is a personal matter between a professor and student and is not subject to the university control or regulation.”