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Sex professor resigns post

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- A college professor suspended for dating students and offering course credit for homosexual and extramarital sex abruptly resigned his teaching post, university officials said Thursday.

Professor Barry Singer, 39, sent a postcard informing Cal State Long Beach officials of his resignation last Friday, two days after he was suspended for 30 days without pay.

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University spokesman Dr. Robert Breunig said officials received the written notice Wednesday, followed by a letter of confirmation, and immediately accepted the resignation.

'He did not indicate at all why he resigned,' Breunig said.

Singer, a tenured psychology professor, came under fire from Christian groups and university officials last month after it was reported that he offered credit in his 'Psychology of Sex' course for homosexual, group and extramarital sex.

Chancellor Glenn Dumke, head of the 19-campus Cal State system, recommended last Wednesday that Singer be suspended for his 'reprehensible' behavior after the professor disclosed he had dated several students.

Singer, who could not be reached for comment, said last week he was surprised by the public outcry over his teaching methods and said he had received several death threats.

'I've pretty much sunk to the basement level,' he said. 'I've got 40 million people out there who are ready to kill me. Some of my colleagues are put out with me, and campus administrators are upset too.'

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After his course came under scrutiny by a faculty review committee, Singer agreed to drop credit for the sexual activities, but still gave credit for field trips to gay bars, dressing in drag and visiting nudist colonies.

'It can be a very powerful growth and learning experience,' Singer said of the homework assignments. 'The idea is not to go out and do some kinky things just to see what they're like, but to see change in your behavior and your feelings.'

In a series of subsequent interviews, Singer revealed that he attended risque student parties where nudity and sex occurred and had been 'romantically involved' with several students.

He also released a letter he wrote two years ago outlining the benefits of intimate relations with students, noting it gave the professor experience that could improve his teaching.

Breunig said Singer made an appointment to meet this week with the vice president for academic affairs, but failed to show for the meeting.

He said the university had received about 60 letters and telephone calls from people describing themselves as taxpayers and citizens who were outraged by Singer's teaching methods.

The 'Psychology of Sex' class, which Singer taught for 8 years, will be offered next year under stricter guidelines, Breunig said.

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'Dr. Glendon Drake, vice president for academic affairs, has directed the Department of Psychology to establish guidelines for this course, consistent with those established by the American Psychological Association's ethical principals for psychologists,' Breunig said.

Singer, who earned between $30,276 and $36,540 as a tenured professor, will be eligible for retirement benefits.

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