Link Metro State Prof Investigated For Palin Assignment Karlyn Tilley DENVER (CBS4) ― Metro State College is investigating a professor who asked students to write an essay critical of Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin. One student said the instructor singled out Republican students in the class and allowed others to ridicule them. "I was shocked, I was holy cow, this is just an open door for him to discuss politics with us," said Jana Barber, a student in the class. Barber shared the first class assignment with CBS4 Wednesday. Instructor Andrew Hallam asked students to write an essay to contradict what he called the 'fairy tale image of Palin' presented at the Republican National Convention. "What the faculty's responsibility is to provide opportunity for critical thinking and civic engagement so bringing something of relevancy into the classroom was the faculty's goal," said Cathy Lucas, spokeswoman for Metro State. "Should he have broadened it and included all the political figures, yes." Metro State officials are investigating claims of bias, harassment and bullying. Barber and another student appeared on KOA's Mike Rosen talk show Thursday to discuss the issue. Metro State College Professor Norm Provizer said Thursday the issue has moved well behind whether or not the assignment was appropriate. Provizer calls it a political firestorm now. "So it isn't just a straight question, well is this a biased assignment?" he said. "It also has all of these political implications and it'll be used for that." The chair of Metro State's English Department is not taking sides yet. He's sitting in on Thursday night's class by Hallam to provide students an opportunity to express their opinions. There is one formal complain about Hallam, who is in his first semester at Metro State. A former student of Hallam's emailed CBS4 Thursday and said he or she could understand how the professor's style could be misunderstood. Hallam often picked a topic for students and asked them to write a specific viewpoint as an exercise in critical thinking, the student's email said. Hallam declined an interview with CBS4. He has revised the assignment. Students may now write about any of the candidates.