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Fresno Pacific University students protest after popular professor laid off

Students at a private Christian university in Fresno wore togas and set up tents at the campus Wednesday to protest the layoff of a popular philosophy professor at the school, according to The Fresno Bee.

Nathan Carson, a philosophy professor who also ran the Sierra Summer program at Fresno Pacific University, was laid off in October, students said. They fear both programs could be eliminated without him.

The university had planned to cut 4% of its full-time employees after low student enrollment led to a $7.4 million deficit, The Bee reported in October.

The decision to remove Carson has been appealed, and that outcome is expected Friday. Currently, 12 students are majoring in philosophy at FPU. The university enrolls about 3,000 students.

Students at the protest said André Stephens, university president, came out to speak with them, giving them hope.

“We’re very hopeful that that means he’s sympathetic to our cause, and hopefully that means that he will reverse the decision to eliminate these programs,” one student said.