updated 12/7/2005 6:23:23 PM ET 2005-12-07T23:23:23

A professor who also is an outspoken anarchist has agreed to leave Yale University this spring, dropping an appeal over whether his termination was politically motivated.

David Graeber, one of the world’s leading social anthropologists, said he will teach two classes next semester, then take a yearlong paid sabbatical, after which he will not return.

“Normally, you get a sabbatical on the condition that you come back and teach the following year,” Graeber said. “I’m getting the sabbatical on the condition that I don’t come back and teach.”

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said he could not immediately confirm the arrangement.

Graeber, 44, who has taught at Yale since 1998, is a prolific writer, and his work on value theory is taught worldwide. The London School of Economics recently asked him to give a lecture reserved for the most promising young anthropologists.

When Yale’s anthropology department recently told Graeber not to return next year, scholars worldwide wrote letters of support, some suggesting Yale was letting politics influence its hiring.

Yale officials have not discussed their reasons for terminating Graeber, and he said he has never learned why. Dozens of the school’s 250 non-tenured professors come up for contract renewal each year.

Graeber said relationships with his peers became strained after he joined activist groups and began appearing at anti-globalization protests and in newspaper articles. He carries an Industrial Workers of the World union card.

Colleagues also expressed concerns about his turning in grades late or coming late to class, he said.

His final two classes will be an introduction to anthropology and a course titled “Direct Action and Radical Social Theory.”

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