The ACAD professor who was fired a week ago — and rehired Wednesday — says he was suspended the same day his student cut the head off a chicken in the college's cafeteria.  

Gord Ferguson said he was off the job within hours of the so-called performance piece which happened last month.  

Ferguson said he was shocked when it first happened because he'd worked at ACAD for 32 years.

"I mean academic freedom gives people the ability to investigate difficult subjects without interference. And I think that that's something that needs to be protected," he said on the CBC Calgary Eyeopener.

"I was quite astonished as to how much support came just from the general public," he said.

The college backed down Wednesday and reinstated Ferguson as head of the sculpture department.

The CBC Eyeopener's David Gray talked with Ferguson about his dismissal and subsequent re-instatement.

  • Click on the "Listen" button above to hear Ferguson’s full conversation with David Gray.