In a show of support for a popular professor, hundreds of Long Beach State (CSULB) students have created a petition to reinstitute Prof. Michael Tomlin back into a course he was removed from due to alleged “university politics.”

With 30 years of marketing experience, Tomlin’s advertising course at CSULB had not only been immensely popular for the past twelve years, but was also widely respected given Tomlin’s former positions at media giants such as Disney, Mattel, Universal and 20th Century Fox.

But just before the summer break ended, Tomlin allegedly received Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 11.34.31 AMan email from Dr. Ingrid Martin, former chair of the Department of Marketing, telling him that he would no longer be teaching MKTG 330. Martin, just beforehand, had lost her re-election as chair of the department.

“Although the dean has communicated in his email response to students it was due to budgetary matters, that is not the case,” Tomlin told the Post. “I did receive an email from Ingrid Martin who clearly states that because she was not re-elected as the Department Chair, that she would be taking my class to fill her teaching load. Never a mention of any budget concerns was communicated. If it were truly a budget issue then the class should have been cancelled as was the case years ago when classes throughout the campus were cut and faculty were given furloughs.”

Requests for comment from Dean Michael Solt, Martin and the university were not returned. 

Feeling that they already lack professors who have worked outside academia, students responded to Tomlin’s removal from his usual core classes with a pretition to reinstate him. According to Tomlin, Martin–though highly educated–has no real-world experience in the field of advertising. 330 students have already signed the petition.

“This situation highlights an epidemic of university politics interfering with the educational well-being of students,” said CSULB alumna and entertainment marketer Molly Ferguson. “During my time at CSULB as a marketing student, most of my teachers had no background in the field—Tomlin was the real exception. There is no reason a teacher with no experience in a field should replace a teacher with such an outstanding background, and loyal following of CSULB Alumni.”

The petition can be viewed and signed here.