About the Professor
According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, Daniel Petersen has been teaching philosophy courses at Hawaii Community College and at the University of Hawaii at Hilo for 21 years. He begins his classes with the phrase, "Shit happens," to introduce the idea of free will and determinism. Petersen says his approach grabs the students' attention in the first few moments of the class, and it tunes them into the subject matter so they engage more readily.
Petersen has promised to finish grading the papers, and he has said that he will either turn the papers over to the students directly or to his lawyer for distribution back to the college. Students fear that the dispute between Petersen and Hawaii Community College will result in them receiving "incompletes" in the class, but the college assures the students that they are doing everything possible to prevent this from happening.