UMSL Wraps Up Labor Class Probe

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMOX) — The University of Missouri has completed its investigation of an organized labor course that drew fire from a conservative blogger for its handling of the topics of labor violence and intimidation tactics.

The University has released a statement concluding that the original videos showcased by the website “were definitely taken out of context, with their meaning highly distorted through splicing and editing.”

In one instance, the edited video omitted a comment by instructor Don Giljum saying that intimidation tactics would not work in this day and age. In another clip, the BigGovernment video cut out a portion of a statement by a Kansas City instructor in which she attributed a statement condoning labor violence to a historical labor figure — making it sound as if she was condoning violence.

Click here to view the unedited videos layout by Media Matters for America.

The statement from the University of Missouri also indicates that UMSL instructor Giljum has not been fired, and is still eligible to teach at UMSL.

UMSL Statement:

May 9, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

We have finally completed viewing the videos originating at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) from the UMSL course Introduction to Labor Studies. The excerpts that were made public showing the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) instructor Don Giljum and students as well as the UMKC instructor and students were definitely taken out of context, with their meaning highly distorted through splicing and editing from different times within a class period and across multiple class periods.

As stated previously, our campus supports academic freedom, civility, diversity, open discourse and the pursuit of knowledge. We support the academic freedom of faculty, staff and students at UMSL. Contrary to some reports, Don Giljum has not been fired from the campus faculty, and in fact, is completing the course; he remains eligible to teach at UMSL. We sincerely regret the distress to him and others that has been caused by the unauthorized copying, editing and distribution of the course videos.

During the past two weeks, we have received communications over a wide spectrum of viewpoints, and we appreciate people letting us know what they think. We have learned more about video and Internet technologies that can be beneficial or detrimental to positive, civil discourse, and security issues related to the use of such media. We shall explore ways to improve security in the use of electronic media for instruction, research and other activities.


Tom George


Professor of Chemistry and Physics

Glen Cope


Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration


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