University of Massachusetts Nursing Dean Fired After Saying “Everyone’s Life Matters” [Updated]

downloadWe have been discussing the growing fear of professors and students over the loss of free speech on campuses for years, but recently those concerns have been greatly magnified with the investigation or termination of professors for expressing opposing views about police abuse, Black Lives Matter movement or aspects of the protests following the killing of George Floyd.  There is a sense of a new orthodoxy that does not allow for dissenting voices as campaigns are launched to fire faculty who are denounced as insensitive or even racist for such criticism.  The most recent controversy involves the recently installed University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing Leslie Neal-Boylan. Dr. Neal-Boylan had only been in her position for a few months when she was fired.  The reason, according to many reports, is that she sent an email on June 2 to the Solomont School of Nursing on the recent anti-racism demonstrations across the country that include the words “everyone’s life matters.” As a blog dedicated to free speech, it has been difficult to keep up with the rising number of cases of the curtailment of speech or academic freedom on our campuses.  What is equally alarming is the relative silence of most faculty members as individual professors are publicly denounced by their universities, forced into retirement, or outright terminated for expressing dissenting views.  This case however raises an equally serious concern over the loss of due process for academics who find themselves the focus of a campaign for removal — or simply summary dismissal.

I reached out to the University and updated the column with the response, which does not clarify most of these questions but suggests that the Dean may have been terminated for other reasons.  I have also reached out to Dr. Neal-Boylan for a response on both the cause and merits for her termination.

Dr. Neal-Boylan was heralded last September as a “visionary leader” by the university in taking over the deanship.  Her writings include strong advocacy for those with disabilities in the nursing field. Those writings show tremendous empathy and concern for inclusivity in the profession.

This controversy began when Dr. Neal-Boylan wrote the email which started with the following words: “Dear SSON Community,” the email provided to Campus Reform begins. “I am writing to express my concern and condemnation of the recent (and past) acts of violence against people of color. Recent events recall a tragic history of racism and bias that continue to thrive in this country. I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS. No one should have to live in fear that they will be targeted for how they look or what they believe.”

One can understand that many felt that the statement detracted from the need to focus on the treatment and loss of black lives. However, one can also read these words as a nursing dean expressing opposition to all violence.  However, the email was immediately denounced in a tweet as “uncalled for” and “upsetting”  by “Haley.”  The university quickly responded to Haley and said “Haley – Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The university hears you and we believe black lives matter. See the letter the chancellor sent out Monday.”  The letter isa statement in support of Black Lives Matter.  Soon thereafter the University reportedly fired Dr. Neal-Boylan.

University spokesperson Christine Gillette issued a statement to the site Campus Reform Wednesday that stated  “The university ended the employment of Dr. Neal-Boylan on June 19 after 10 months in her role as dean of the Solomont School of Nursing. As with all such decisions, it was made in the best interest of the university and its students.”

What is particularly concerning is a June 19 letter referenced on the site that was allegedly written by Neal-Boylan and sent to Provost Julie Nash. The letter states “It is important to point out that no one ever gave me an opportunity to share my views of how the college and school were interacting nor explain myself regarding the BLM email. My meeting with you, [Dean] Shortie [McKinney], and Lauren Turner was clearly not intended to give me an opportunity to defend my actions. I was condemned without trial.”

The statement from the university does not state what specifically is “in the best interest of the university and its students.”  However, the failure to specifically state the grounds and the process used to reach the decision is alarming.  The University let the public record stand — and the view that Dr. Neal-Boylan was fired for expressing the view that “Black Lives Matter, but also Everyone’s Life Matters.”

What is “in the best interest of the university and its students” should include free speech and due process.  The mere fact that we do not know if Dr. Neal-Boylan was afforded either right is chilling.  If there were other grounds against her, the university should state so.  Instead, the clear message to faculty is that the dean was fired for expressing concerns over the loss of lives across the country in these protests.

I can understand the sensitivity to those who feel that the inclusion of other lives tends to take away the focus on the need for action on the treatment of African-Americans in our society.  However, it is possible that, as a leading health care figure, Dr. Neal-Boylan was speaking out to seek to end all violence in the protection of human life.  Medical and health care professionals tend to oppose all loss of life and violence.  The question is whether an academic should be able to express such a view and, equally importantly, whether there is a process through which a professor can defend herself in explaining the motivation and intended meaning of her words.

The uncertainty over the process used in this case creates an obvious chilling effect for other faculty members. In 30 years of teaching, I have never seen the level of fear among faculty over speaking or writing about current events, particularly if they do not agree with aspects of the protests.  Not only is there a sense of forced silence but universities have been conspicuously silent in the face of the destruction of their own public art and statues. Even New York Times editors can be forced out for simply publishing opposing views.

As we have previously discussed, chilling effects on free speech has long been a focus of the Supreme Court.  Free speech demands bright line rules to flourish. The different treatment afforded faculty creates an obviously chilling effect on free speech.  Avoiding the chilling effect of potential punishment for speech is a core concern running through Supreme Court cases.  For example, in 1964, the Supreme Court struck down the law screening incoming mail. A unanimous court, Justice William Douglas rejected the law as “a limitation on the unfettered exercise of the addressee’s First Amendment rights.” It noted that such review “is almost certain to have a deterrent effect” on the free speech rights of Americans, particularly for “those who have sensitive positions:”

Obviously, many of these schools are private institutions but freedom of speech and academic freedom have long been the touchstones of the academy. What concerned me most was that I could not find a university statement on a matter that resulted in the canning of one of its deans — just an ominous note that the page of Dr. Neal-Boylan can no longer be found.

Update:

I contacted the University to confirm (1) whether Dr. Neil-Boylan was fired for her statement about “everyone’s life matters” and (2) whether she was given an opportunity to hear the complaints against her and to contest the allegations.

The university responded with this statement:

“Leslie Neal-Boylan’s employment at UMass Lowell ended on June 19, after she was informed she would no longer serve as dean of the Solomont School of Nursing. She had been in that role for 10 months. Although a tenured full faculty member, she declined to join the nursing faculty. As with all such employment decisions, it was made in the best interests of the university and its students. Although we are not able to discuss specifics of a personnel matter, it would be incorrect to assume any statement by Dr. Neal-Boylan was the cause of that decision.”

This suggests that there were other reasons for the termination but, if the letter posted from Dr. Neal-Boylan is accurate, she was not aware of what those reasons might be.  If she is unaware of those allegations, this would be a rather Orwellian position where the university protects her privacy by refusing to confirm the basis for her termination even to herself.  I was hoping that the University would at least say that she was given those reasons and an opportunity to defend herself.  Instead, the university did not deny the allegation that Dr. Neal-Boylan was denied the opportunity to respond and contest any allegations.

The problem with the response is it leaves even more questions.  Dr. Neal-Boylan was fired soon after the University public stated that it was looking into the controversy over her statement.  She has said that she does not know any other reason, or at least that is what the letter posted on the Campus Reform site suggests.  Indeed, she is being quoted as writing:

“Her firing was “attributable to one phrase in my initial email that otherwise was very clearly a message to NOT discriminate against anyone. To those students who were upset regarding my email, wouldn’t it have been better to use that as a teachable opportunity to explain that leaders also make mistakes and use this as an example of why lifelong learning is so important?”

If her firing was unrelated to the statement, the University could have so stated without any violation of privacy. Such a clarification would have put to rest concerns over free speech.  Instead, there is lingering confusion, including with the subject of the action.

316 thoughts on “University of Massachusetts Nursing Dean Fired After Saying “Everyone’s Life Matters” [Updated]”

  1. If Haley is so offended, then she should find another school, there are plenty. If the UMASS is so spineless as to fire anyone for making a non-threatening statement of balance, then students and parents should reconsider whether this school is providing a balanced and complete education.

    As an employer, I will be compiling a list of these schools that display zero character, a commitment to kowtowing to any political thought, and especially submission to the whims of kids, so that when graduates of those embarrassing schools come looking for a job, I can summarily eliminate them from consideration. The graduates of these institutions have learned that authorities will or should yield to their nonsenses and that reacting to sensitive situations in a knee-jerk and thoughtless manner is acceptable and proper. I don’t want anyone that narrow-minded and limited in my organization.

    1. Seems to me DonEstif you are being as narrow-minded as the officials at these schools. You will not even interview a student from theses schools on the unjustified assumption that everyone of them has adopted the lesson you say the university is teaching: “ that display zero character, a commitment to kowtowing to any political thought, and especially submission to the whims of kids,…”

      So you won’t even make an effort to determine if an applicant from one of the universities on your list has actually taken to this lesson to mind and heart. You are no better than the administrators you think so poorly of.

    1. History illustrates differently. The fascists/dictators defeated the elected government of Spain and held it as a dictatorship for decades. Hitler and his fascists directly targeted the left and ‘FREEDOM’. Communism is not liberal but simply another form of fascism. Reagan was America’s greatest clandestine fascist. He traded arms to Iran, sold cocaine, slaughtered the citizens of Nicaragua because he didn’t like their democratically elected government. Listening to Reagan pontificate is about as low as believing that what Trump says has merit. Reagan had and Trump has, mental disabilities. Reagan, at least, had the ability to admit when he was wrong. “You can’t lower taxes and increase spending.”

      1. Reagan wasn’t telling us how fascists entered previous countries, he was PREDICTING how it would come to America. What does history tell you about that?

        What side do those that are implementing the ‘cancel culture’ appear to be on?

        Rather than focus on what Reagan predicted, you preferred to focus on irrelevancies.

        1. Reagan was doing nothing more than name calling. The opposition can be called with any and every name. The Republicans are the ultimate masters of this routine and Trump is so proliferate at name calling that he calls himself out from time to time. Look at Lindsey Graham; one minute Trump is a whack job and the next the greatest thing since sliced bread. That anyone would take anything Reagan or Trump said, seriously reflects more on the mindless listener than on Reagan or Trump. They were politicians in the ‘us versus them’ polarized America. Idiots that actually believe their blather only feed the polarization. Reagan once remarked to the German Chancellor, while attending a commemoration at an SS cemetery, that he experienced first hand, war as a tail gunner in WW2. Reagan never left Hollywood during the war. The man was, just as is Trump, mentally challenged. As Presidents they were and continue to be dangerous. Now, trundle out Ollie North and Sean Hannitey.

        2. “Reagan wasn’t telling us how fascists entered previous countries, he was PREDICTING how it would come to America. What does history tell you about that?”

          Here it seems that you take the predictions of a man who was, not all there all the time, over history or fact. Easily lead; you must be a Trumper.

      2. There was one “dictator” of Spain only the past century, and his name was Francisco Franco, El Caudillo, he was a patriot and he saved the country from communist ruin, kept it out of World War II, revived the economy in what was called a “miracle,” and was steadfast ally of America in NATO. His memory is now insulted by fools.

        Reagan was no “fascist,” whatever a person like you believes that to mean.

        The things you say are preposterous Isaac son of Bacon, the Canadian.

        1. The country was not in ‘communist ruin’ before Franco. It was emerging out from under an oligarchy centered around a defunct monarchy. Communism and anarchism were on the far left. The elected majority were center left and progressive. The government never represented the people again until after 1976. The right were fascist and allied with Hitler and Mussolini. Franco would not have won without the assistance of Germany and Italy. The Spanish Civil War was not won by the majority will of the people. It was won by the military might of fascism. The people were downtrodden for decades. When I travelled through Spain in the mid 60s the people were under thumb. The people that did talk spoke of limitations of basic rights, opportunities, and freedoms. The top levels were the privileged through connections and heritage. When I asked them why they put up with it they all had somewhat the same answer. Spain and the Spanish people had suffered so much during and after the war that no one wanted to go through that again. Franco executed over 250,000 Republicans during the war and after. The Republicans did their share of executing and church burning but Franco taught a lesson that kept Spain under a dictatorial thumb until he died. Spain today does not view its fascist history with pride.

          Regarding Spain as a member of NATO and a US ally; that means nothing. Turkey is a member of NATO. The US makes allies with the worst of the worst if it is to some strategic advantage. Franco did not liberate Spain. He kept Spain back for over 35 years. Spain pretty much missed the Industrial Revolution and was primarily an agricultural economy until the late 19th century. Franco performed a military coup, something which is not out of the ordinary in the early stages of democracy.

          In the end we will never know what would have happened to Spain under a progressive center left government. History does record that under the fascist dictator Franco, Spain was frozen in time for 35 years. Since 1976 Spain has grown rapidly socially, economically, and as an independent country with elected leaders, as it was before Franco.

          You are like most right wing extremists, historically selective and ignorant of certain facts. There is no such thing in actual performance as communism, and never has been. The oppressive dictatorships and oligarchies that have flown the hammer and sickle were and are nothing but dictatorships. There is no difference between Franco, Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. They all ruled by force. One might be wise to remember that oligarchies rule countries where freedom can be afforded as well as countries where it cannot be afforded. In essence it is a group at the top who feel that they know better. It takes either an ignorant and complacent population or one under the thumb for an oligarchy to exist. No dictator ever ruled alone. Each had the support of the oligarchs who wished primarily to remain in their positions of privilege and power. They exist today from oppressive to benevolent. Mindless patriotism is the major ingredient. Where mindlessness and absolute reverence is less, free thought and progressive ideas expand to limit the oligarchs. There will always be those that rise to the top economically, in any society. However a true democracy limits their influence on government. Take a peek at our own government. No elected official gets to first be a candidate unless he or she is first vetted by the US oligarchy. Scalia even ruled that indirectly. In, just about, every truer democracy, concentrated financial backing focused on candidates is against the law. Now ask yourself why you revere Franco.

  2. The Left, Democrats, and il-Liberals are on a rampage to control not only speech but thought. They are the scariest group of people ever (okay close to Mao, Lenin, Chavez, Hitler, and Castro) but common people are cowed by their violence that goes behind their other demands. We know how we got here and the rational people have to fight against it. And don’t count on universities to be included in the rational (or even intelligent)

    1. they are only scary in the way an erratic and insane person who may attack you with a knife is scary. even though you have a gun., that’s how they are scary, like a lunatic.

      if good people were firm and bold, they would be locked up.

      I am past the “dialogue” phase of this. And the faster we all get down to brass tacks and literally fighting physically over this nonsense the better.

      The chance will come soon. Mobs are emboldened; police defunded and demoralized and quitting en masse. That means mobs WILL get worse and then the reaction begins.

      1. Kurtz, grow up. You live in a representative democracy and are almost certainly among it’s top earners. Crime is the lowest it’s been in 40 years and compared to the 1st half of the last century and earlier, you are safer, richer, healthier, and have more freedom than most anyone in our species couple of hundred years existence. Count your blessings, make arguments with your neighbors, but keep the peace. Things can get a whole lot worse and only spoiled children don’t get that.

        1. in general i agree with you book

          nonetheless: my neighbors are fully on board where i lay my head

          my neighbors where i transact respect me because i am strong

          I won’t be the first to unsheath the sword, but I will be the last to put it down

          anyhow, the neighbors are not the problem. we are prosperous and healthy, we are armed, we are cohesive, we are orderly, and we are strong
          and our police are not defunded. and we know them

          I am a law abiding person., as a lawyer who has been in general practice for a long time, policemen and lawyers and even judges have brought me their own problems and private dirt for decades. because they know I am discrete and can be trusted to maintain my confidences to the fullest extent of the law and even beyond. this has given me some insight into the thinking of people who are deeply immersed in government., they are generally good people and I fully include the average Democrat in that. But they have lives and interests outside their “jobs” and they want to protect those too. So there is a point at which law and order can be threatened, that will galvanize content and peaceful citizens into action, and the leadership of the failed state can quickly become the leadership of the counter-revolution.. mobs are the one thing that will do the trick very quickly, and we have seen more angry mobs the past 6 weeks than even in 1968. or maybe ever. regular people are scared and by that I fully include your average white Democrat voter who sees their law and order being thrown overboard by weaklings and schemers in the ranks above them.

          Let’s compare civil unrest to history. consider the Haymarket riot. maybe about 130 years ago or so. the workers in Chicago were protesting for an 8 hour work day., a justifiable demand in my opinion. the workers had worse conditions then and the right to organize was not respected in law. but the bad apples of today were bad apples back then too: anarchist threw a bomb and several police and civilians were killed about 11 I think.

          Recently, Chicago lost 11 people to criminal violence over Father’s day weekend. including 4 children. even more just about exactly a month ago. what’s the difference?

          https://abcnews.go.com/US/chicago-sees-18-homicides-deadliest-day-60-years/story?id=71150234

          the difference is back then the police had a spine and the people were more cohesive as a whole. it was a time of rising incomes and now we are in a time of falling incomes…. and the population has major rifts ie more clear “diversity” that did not exist before at the same scale….., the ingredients for a deeper civil chaos are now.

          1. Tellingly Kurtz, the 11 dead from over the weekend were from criminal violence, not civil unrest or protests. I was an adult in 1968 (young, but an adult). This is a f….g picnic in comparison. If a white guy found himself in the middle of a black Detroit street during the riots, he’d better kiss his ass goodbye. Today, most of the protesters are white and very few people of any race are being injured, let alone killed. Of those being killed. most are black.

            You are exaggerating the both the extremism and violence in these protests, and trying to tie it to the election. That’s trump’s goal. He’s got nothing else. Fine, but why are you selling it with a straight face?

            1. Because Kurtz is an anarchist of a sort. Trump touched upon anarchism with his ‘outsider needed to drain the swamp’ routine. Just about everything Trump said was a lie or at the very best an exaggeration. Trump bred chaos in the minds of those like Kurtz and then offered himself up as ‘the only one who could fix it’. Anarchism is a weapon used by the right as well as the left. To be an option it needs a society where swords are being drawn and dupes are armed and dangerous. The demonstrations fundamentally were necessary pushes in the right direction. Attached were extreme and chaotic elements that come along, as always, with any direction. The much necessary demonstrations against the slaughter in Vietnam surfaces an extreme and mindless ‘hard hat’ response that exceeded by far the chaos of the peace advocates. Kurtz is hunkered down in his bunker with his head up where the sun don’t shine. That he is a lawyer only adds to his problem.

              1. I can understand your thinking about that Isaac though i do not agree with it

                trust me I had chaos in my mind from an early age

                Maybe you guys remember Kurt Russell in “Escape from New York ” and “Escape from LA?” I didn’t make those movies but people say we are watching them play out in life now

                as for Vietnam protests, you’re a Canadian right? I don’t need to hear from you about Vietnam one way or another. What’s this ‘mindless hard hat” stuff? Do you think the patriotic Americans who did their service without running away to Canada to dodge the draft were a bunch of Archie Bunkers? I think you probably do

                Well, I am not a fan of the war in Vietnam, but I respect my fellow Americans for doing their lawful and patriotic duty even if it was a misbegotten imperialist adventure. I’m not going to entertain the validity of opinions of Canadians about it one way or another!

                As for my bunker, I wish i had one. A really secure cool one like the Silicon Valley dudes have ,read all about it. Maybe this is why they’re not afraid of the collapse>? Because with their big money and contingency plans, they can easily run away .

                https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

                No Im just out here in flyover, always had guns since I was a kid, always will. Had a garden since I was a kid always will. Always hooked up with neighbors for mutual aid, always will. I don’t look like a redneck in a suit but I always been one in my heart

                1. Kurtz

                  Firstly, I am a dual national. I have spent many years living in France as well as having been born and brought up in Canada. Something you might ponder; most Canadians know more about the US than the average American. The US is pushed down Canadian throats unrelentingly, as it is down the throats of the rest of the world. Only recently in the past few decades have other countries equaled and surpassed the US in flogging their cultures. Quality is another subject, in the eye of the beholder. Some see ‘Escape from New York’ as a culturally high mark. During the many years I lived in France I had more enlightening conversations from more informed people regarding the US than the many years I have lived in this country. Ignorance seems to be a badge of honor worn proudly by far too many American born Americans.

                  As a dual national I had nothing to do with being born Canadian; just as you probably had nothing to do with being born American. I did, however, make a conscious decision to remain in the US and become a citizen, unlike most Americans who were merely born here, with no choice. In the 60s and 70s during the time of America’s great shame, when it slaughtered three million Vietnamese and refused to honor the civil rights of Blacks, I made the friendship of almost 50 Americans who emigrated to Canada. Only one was a draft dodger. The men had all done their military service, one two tours in Vietnam. They were all married and with their families ‘got out of LA’. It may have been a combination of America during one of its most shameful times and LA at the height of its ‘sewer’ period. A very few went back. The majority became Canadian citizens for the same reason I became an American citizen, to take part in the country in which I live. If I had of stayed in France, I would have become a French citizen. The bottom line is that I grew up rejecting extreme patriotism. Perhaps someday I will leave and live somewhere else.

                  The one truth I have garnered and try and keep alive, like a flame in the palm of my hand-to quote Marguerite Yourcenar, is that extremes to the left or the right are the most dangerous when they attempt to denigrate, negate, or offend the opposite side in its entirety. One thing I notice in your postings along with most of the others is just that. It’s always Dems are this or that, instead of what it really is, madness on the fringe. If you go far enough in either direction you arrive at useless madness.

                  I take life issue by issue. Sometimes someone on the left can call me a conservative, but not someone from the center left where I perch. The failing of this country is the us and them polarized condition of the political system. The US is uniquely backward this way and has gotten far worse under the blithering idiot Trump. Growing up in Canada we had two parties, with the same old song, left or right. Canada evolved beyond that. In 1960, Tommy Douglas formed a third party, began one of the world’s greatest experiments in public health care, and was Premier of Saskatchewan, as well as a member of Parliament in Ottawa. The country has been more balanced and more democratic since. The same thing happened with Great Britain. France has almost always had four parties. Somehow, the US feels itself superior in having two, one more than a dictatorship. Somehow the US feels that political power should be for sale. Somehow these travesties tend to bring the right side closer together, fearing social evolution, seeing the word progress as regressive. The battle cry, ‘If it ain’t broke why fix it?’ is the battle cry of a loser. The battle cry of the left is to evolve socially to a higher state of freedom, rights, and privilege. Somehow the right has become an anchor that wants to mindlessly and sometimes perversely revisit 1776. It’s not 1776 anymore. The US did not invent democracy but has walked away from it. The US did not invent the rights it claims but merely compiled them and wrote them down. The freedoms and rights we cherish have always been sought after by humans. Yeah, I know, WW2 and John Wayne, perhaps Kurt Russell, that old Mouseketeer.

                  1. issac – you know the old saying, you can tell the immigrants because they know all the words to the National Anthem. 😉

        2. Crime has been low but now that is likely to quickly reverse course due to the same people who are making it impossible to have the conversations and healthy debates required for a representative democracy to thrive.

          I do agree with keeping the peace, but peace is only valuable whenever it is based upon shared values and defined by our democratic institutions.

          Peace is not valuable when it’s dictated by fascists.

          Right now on campuses, we have ‘peace’ because it’s being dictated by fascists.

          The question is how we overcome that. Violence? Hopefully not, but that’s historically how fascism has been defeated and I assume that’s what’s driving Mr Kurtz’s thoughts.

  3. BLM Doesn’t matter except to becoming a Target fro every red blooded American who wants to live Free.Antifa are just scum in the way… Aim small Miss Small.

  4. The left is riding high on a wave of censorship and intimation.

    But ordinary Americans haven’t been heard from yet (we typically don’t màrch, riot, or attack).

    Our turn comes in November.

    Either Americans will reaffirm our core values or we will turn the country over to Fascists.

    Our choice.

  5. At best this situation is murky. If she was fired for her innocuous and inoffensive post, that is outrageous and foolish, but there is some evidence that is not why she was fired. In the CampusReform article, see her letter of June 16 (copied at the bottom of the article) about her firing. She does not bring up the post in question about All Lives Matter. She brings up butting heads with the Dean over what appears to be union contract negotiations and her support of the faculty on the matter.

    https://campusreform.org/?id=15157

    Given that so far we have seen only one tweet in opposition to her from a Taylor Swift groupie, it hardly seems there was much pressure to fire her over All Lives Matter. The dean may have decided it was in his/her interest to keep the firing ambiguously tied to that reason when a power play over unions is what is really driving it.

      1. She was fired for being confrontational in a delicate moment. Sometimes when a person is in a pivotal position, one has to keep one’s mouth shut. Whether or not she should have been fired is debatable. There is no ‘on the ground’ context provided in Turley’s blurb. There rarely is as he is a lawyer and can only argue theory. Many, if not most, of those on this blog are rabidly drooling while they wait for another bone on which to chew. Turley seems to throw not much else but bones.

        1. No actually it’s good when leaders show spine instead of licking the boots of BLM thugs. I would spit on their boots but they can shine them on their own.

    1. My guess is that there are other issues at work, for sure. To fire someone with this as cause — right now — is a sure ticket to get the libertarians on your behind, so most likely her post was the incident that put things over the line. Viewed through the lens of reductionism (i.e. the standard fare tactical thought process that thrives on this blog) things seem to gravitate toward the post being the one and only cause, but it’s just not likely.

    2. But look at how cautious JT is when writing about such things. Look at MollyG below happily calling for this person to be fired for saying “all lives matter.” Look at all the other instances of people getting fired for saying the “wrong thing.” Our country has changed dramatically…this is what I was trying to explain to you yesterday. The issue of freedom of speech and thought is an existential question and it’s driving my vote against the left. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people on the right that do the same thing when they hear leftie professors say something crazy, but it’s might view that this is being driven by the forces of political correctness boosted by our modern technology. I hear precious few voices from the left decrying this fascism which is terribly ironic given all the cries about Trump being an authoritarian…a fascist.

      1. This is an at-will country, you can get fired for any reason that is not on a short list of protected classes. And people do get fired for small stuff all the time. There is no reason that a dean should have special privileges.

        1. And that is exactly how you kill freedom of speech, thought, action, and association. I thought these were lefty ideals, but really they are libertarian ideals.

      2. Ivan, JT is writing cautiously about it because there isn’t much data and it is ambiguous at best. Based on the fired dean’s own letter there were other issues more serious – to the School Dean and faculty – at work than splitting hairs on slogans. There is no evidence of pressure on this – one tweet from a Taylor Swift groupie? – but the “incident” gave cover for removing someone helping challenge the administration on faculty and union rights. Think about it.

        By the way, Donald Trump and the yahoos here are not free speech advocates and will turn on a dime if the faculty member is a mau mau black panther. They’ve done it!

    3. I seriously doubt this firing was done because of anything else other than the BLM email. Sure, she might have had some power struggles at work, but the timing and chain of communication surrounding this email can’t be ignored.

      Did they fire her under the smoke screen of the BLM email? Possibly, but if so, we’re still left with the issue of it being seen as reasonable to fire someone for putting into print that “all lives matter.”

      1. The dep[artment has made no statement as to why, nor has the university. The clear problem between the administration and the fired dean is spelled out by the fired dean in a letter dated 16 days after her “controversial” post, There were no demonstrations and hardly any on-line controversy. JT’s column jumps to conclusions which are not supported by the known facts, and the usual suspects have taken it and run to Outrage City because that’s where they like to go. JT knows this.

        1. You are ignoring the part about how the school was alerted to the content of the letter, how the school quickly responded, and how quickly she was fired after that.

  6. I agree with you, Turley. Seems we’re in a bit of an overkill phase. And that also speaks to a point I often make in responding to your free speech posts: we’ve never really had true free speech. It’s a goal to aim toward always, for sure. But basically, the more status one has the more ‘free speech’ they get.

    I totally understand what Dr. Neal-Boylan was saying, and taken away from the context of the times, agree with her. Awful timing on her end though. I mean, pick your battles, right. She’s not going to come out ahead on this one during this particular time because, wait for it, there is no such thing as truly free speech in this country at this, or any other, time.

    1. you gotta pick a battle sometime or bullies know you are a wussy. normal people need to figure this out, fast

  7. By now the term “all lives matter” or “everyone’s lives matter” is well understood to mean that you deny the idea that black people in this county are subjected to systemic racism. She knew what she wrote and absolutely deserves to loose her job. Universities are trying to be inclusive and she goes and intentionally undermines that.

    1. Your views are pure fascism. There is no other word for your it. You want to control what everyone thinks and writes.

      1. Expressing racist ideas puts the university on notice for liability if she is ever accused a taking a racist action. It is just risky to keep her around so she does need to go. Saying racist stuff will get most people fired from their jobs, deans should have no special protection.

        1. The idea that “Everyone’s lives matter” is racist is, at the very least, debatable. If that can get you fired then any deviation from orthodoxy can get you fired and that is kid of the opposite of the idea of academic freedom.

          1. The idea that “Everyone’s lives matter” is racist is well established. So much so that in a 2016 debate HC was asked “Do black lives matter or do all lives matter?” and she knew the meaning of the question and was able to answer it. As for academic freedom? I do support that, but in the context of actual academic research and publications. A professor needs to have the freedom to do unpopular and controversial research and publish those results. Academic freedom is not a free pass for behavior and writings outside of the academic environment. She was speaking as a dean, put her university at liability risk, and needs to go.

            1. The idea that “Everyone’s lives matter” is racist is well established.

              In your imagination only. Give up on public affairs and go back to crafting sites. You’ll never have a clue what you’re talking about.

            2. “The idea that “Everyone’s lives matter” is racist is well established.”

              No, it is not. It is very established that many on the left want it to be interpreted as racist, but that doesn’t make it so.

              I understand that some phrases can take on meanings and become code phrases, but this is not the case here. If that were the case, then there would also be much talk about an acceptable way to deliver a message with the same intent. But there isn’t, and it’s because the supposed racism inherent in the suggestion that all lives matter is that it diverts focus away from the notion that black lives matter. By requiring focus to only be on black lives when it comes to a discussion of live’s mattering, we can clearly see that those who demand that “all lives matter” cannot be used are the actual racists.

        2. So Molly you want to get rid of academic tenure? That would benefit normal folks you deride for their conservative views greatly. Because we are coming for the universities and we are going to take scalps of leftist ideologues. Metaphorically of course. But there will be a blowback and it will be severe.

          Tenure is an impediment to rectifying academica; ok, lets get rid of it.

            1. I understand., this dean can be an acceptable loss for the greater good of ending tenure, but, I doubt we would be so lucky for an outcome. i just wanted to say I favored it. go ahead, end tenure. sack the so called conservatives first if need be. but it will be worth it because the screw will turn, and a different ox will be gored. an ox that really needs a goring badly

              I come to understand why Saloth Sar and Mao sent the effete urban intellectuals to the countryside to learn the virtues of hard labor. I favor that too. Trust me, if we made all the professors suddenly learn to grow their own food. it would not be “conservatives” who would be more harmed.

              So go ahead, end tenure, as far and wide as you can, leftists

              You can go ahead and keep on crushing the First amendment too. there’s a lot we would be able to do once that is over, which needs to be done.

              again the Chicoms are giving us some good ideas:

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/hong-kong-media-tycoon-jimmy-lai-arrested-on-charges-of-illegal-assembly

              Lincoln shut down newspapers too. It’s what you have to do when a civil war jumps off. People need to understand this. There will be a set of repressive measures that are coming from one side or another, but they are coming for sure. We can’t control the causes, but we can leverage the effects.

      2. Expressing racist ideas puts the university on notice and at risk for liability if she ever takes a racist action, so of course she has to go. Expressing a racist idea gets people fired (for good reason) all the time, there is no reason that a dean should have special protection. No one is trying to control what she says, but the university does not have to put itself at risk and deal with a dean actively undermining them. She can go be a racist on her own time, which she has plenty of now.

        1. Writing that “all lives matter” or everyone’s life matters” is hardly “racist.” This is the first I’ve heard of such an absurd idea. What you claim is “well understood” may be some code in whatever fringe group you associate with, but will come as a surprise and will be rejected by a jury should this woman sue for wrongful termination, and I certainly hope she does.

        2. See what a hateful person these liberals are. Molly wants a lady fired because she believes all lives matte and said so.

          This is what the insult of racism is these days: a gob of spit in the face. Ask yourself Molly how many gobs of spit you can eject from your foul mouth before it gets you in trouble

          It has no meaning except that it is spoken to harass, intimdate, and annoy white people. Nobody without the white skin gets in trouble because they are “Racist” —
          ergo it is precisely, itself, racism directed at whites.

          1. Dude, you and others here have had their hair on fire for left wing faculty statements. Mespo wants to shoot me, honest lawyer wants to shoot somebody., anybody, and antonio gets a thrill up his leg when white liberal parents are killed by their adaptive black kids friends. Look for another word besides “hateful”

            1. catch this one? another hateful friend of BLM, threatened to stab the next white person she heard saying “all lives matter”

              she got fired, properly so

              it will be great when it’s all very clear that businesses can fire anybody they like again. i think that may be a possible outcome of the vigor with which the left censures errant speech. it will turn around and bite them one day too. sooner perhaps than you think

              https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12008073/claira-janover-harvard-grad-lost-deloitte-job-tiktok-stab/

            2. Anon – if it makes you feel any better, a black cop got suspended for slapping a black woman who accused him of acting white. She truly was all up in his face before he slapped her.

        3. Fail for asserting an opinion as fact. Saying that all lives matter, and especially in the same sentence that black lives matter, is not a factually racist statement. It’s just your opinion.

      1. In the early 70’s the same reverse discrimination happened to my late husband. It was becoming rampant in the universities at that point also when black students would dare the professor to not give them an “A” or they would scream discrimination. Anyone of my age knows most of this is just a crock at this point. Anyone buying into BLM rhetoric at this point is a willfully ignorant tool.

        1. That is precisely why most supporters are under 35. This isn’t new to a whole lot of us, but Thanks to a very lazy society, millennials think the world sprang into existence the day they were born and all of creation, invention, and rumination should be attributed exclusively to them. And it’s based on what they feel, not what they think, know, or have experienced.

    2. No she doesn’t. I think she was really fired over a much more serious matter – see my post above – but in her supposedly offending post she says Black Lives Matter and then All Lives Matter and explained her meaning in an entirely inoffensive and even inspiring message. But even if she didn’t, tough s… The University has to weigh their interest in ducking their head vs being a defender of free inquiry and speech and the latter is much more important.

      Again however, I think this is a smoke screen the Dean used to strengthen University control over it’s faculty – not on free speech, but on contracts. Read her letter at the bottom of this from June 16

      https://campusreform.org/?id=15157

      1. PS The same supposed defenders of campus free speech here will happily denounce and advocate firing left wing faculty they find offensive. They’ve done it in recent memory. This issue doesn’t sort on free speech for them, it sorts on left v right.

    3. To “Molly G” :There is no such thing as “systemic racism”. There is universal racism. Most people have the ability and learn to increase their acceptances of race and gender differences. “Systemic racism” is a smear or propaganda technique that requires the user of such a term to be a racist because the user is labeling a “system” that has hundreds of millions of non blacks (that they don’t know) as part of a system of racism. Were the white Union soldiers who died in the Civil War part of the systemic racist claim; were the black slave owners part of the systemic racism claim ?? My bet is that you likely “know” at least 100 times more non racists than racists. You are slandering the folks you know. Thank you.

      1. Redlining, the effects of which are still present, the fact that blacks are disproportionally arrested an locked up for crimes that whites commit at the same rate, that resumes with black sounding names are much less likely to get a call back the identical resumes with white sounding names. These are just a few of many examples of systemic racism. The idea is that while many, and even most individuals are not racists, the system still is. That is why is is no longer enough to be non-racist, one must be actively anti-racist.

        1. Redlining is a super efficient way for insurance companies not to go bankrupt.

          but you see the Left, the BLM and ANTIFA, don’t care because why? they’re socialists, at least, in theory. they think the government can just do it all on its own

          This was a failure everywhere it was actually tried but that doesnt stop a new crop of idiots from making a new stab at it

          the pathetic thing is that communists used to represent all the workers’ interests, supposedly. now today’s commie style radicals BLM and ANTIFA, don’t even pretend to give a fig about the white workers at all. they want to squeeze all the white people from top to bottom, make no mistake about that. they’re coming for us. they told us they’re going to burn it down. what do you think that’s supposed to mean, “Molly?” I never met anybody but a white person would would chose to call themselves “Molly.”

          so here we have the pathetic sight of a white person who hates their own skin and wishes their own destruction. pathetic self loathing white fool, like the one that was heckling the cops in NYC the other day in the clip that circulated all over, for not have been to college. so pathetic ! self hating whites stink like rotten fish

    4. There is not a preponderance of data to show systematic racism, that is just a false talking point that the media will not challenge. Do not attempt to highjack a concept by interjection that false flag.

    5. Molly,

      Yes, Americans need to come to grips with our Systemic Racism by getting rid of the Racist practice of Affirmative Action. It’s the #1 cause of Racism in the USA bar none!!!

      It’s Racist of Americans to think Blacks are just to Stupid to compete in the real world with Whites, Asians, Latinos, etc…, on a level playing field.

      It’s just like Nascar’s token Black Bubba Wallace, you see it has nothing to do with the poor whining b*tch can’t drive & win races, he just cant win because everyone else is Racist & won’t slow down on the track to give him a special chance at winning.

      Video below… play special attn to the white Racist washing his car that wrongly got his head in the way of the Black guy’s gun & has his brains spattered on his cars fender.

      https://banned.video/watch?id=5efbb2b5672706002f38331e

      1. Actually, no. “The #1 cause of racism in the USA bar none” is black behavior. The rampant criminality would be astonishing except for the fact that we’ve seemingly become a accustomed to it: Black males, at 6% of the U.S. population, commit more than 50% of violent crimes (murders, rapes, armed robberies, home invasions, car jackings, etc). And that’s only counting the crimes for which there was an apprehension and conviction. The answer? Why let’s just get rid of the police, of course. Then we can all be victims. Equal opportunity for all the sheep! 🐑🐑🐑🐑

        1. Notice No One is painting BLM on the side walks in front Planned ParentHood’s Abortion Clients.

          Planned Parenthood knows those BL Matter as they PP makes a hell’uva lot of money selling those nappy haired aborted baby parts… so testimony seems to attest to.

    6. Lol. No, it’s understood to brainwashed little simians such as yourself. Believe it or not, a great many people who don’t have a hateful bone in their bodies could care less about your ‘narrative’. That’s all it is. Some s*!+ you made up and are attempting to foist on what you believe is an idiotic society. Personalize and project much, Molly? Yawn.

      That said, in all sincerity: what is it going to take for people to stop supporting these schools? If the point is an education, it’s pretty clear that ain’t happening anymore. Light your dollars on fire instead, your kids will likely be better off, and you’ll still have wasted the money, if that’s what you insist on.

      Incidentally, this is why I oppose tax-funded college: I am not going to light my dollars on fire in support of indoctrination centers. At some point, when the majority of people on earth no longer understand how to do anything or how anything works, a la ‘Idiocracy’ (also a la the likes of Molly) the human race will likely perish with a whimper rather than a misguided yell. No one is coming from the future to save us!

  8. First of all, I think there is still important work done in academia in STEM programs, business schools, and even in many other disciplines. But too many of those other disciplines (often in the “Social Sciences” realm) have simply produced “scholarship” that is intellectually lazy and politically driven, leaving it essentially as leftist propaganda. I really hate that I’ve come to that conclusion, but I have seen it myself in recent graduate school ventures.

    We now have the academy interpreting a positive and very benign statement like ‘all lives matter’ to be not only insensitive, but so terrible that anyone who utters it should be subject to losing their livelihood.

    Seriously? We can’t even use basic English to express ourselves without first getting approval by the thought police? And those thought police are in the academy? W.T.F.?!

    They are no longer simply trying to control our lives, they have already succeeded. Smart and well-meaning people throughout our society choose not to engage in discussions deemed ‘controversial’ by the left, because if it can happen to someone like Dr. Neal-Boylan, it can happen to the rest of us.

    This is evil and it is terrorism.

  9. Prof. JT states that “One can understand that many felt that the statement detracted from the need to focus on the treatment and loss of black lives”. With all due respect this sounds that you are on the defensive and are afraid to state the WHOLE truth. There is no justification whatsoever for the fireing. Lets call a spade a spade. The University of Mass. has no right to call itself a University and your possible justification is nearly as bad as their action. Dont be intimadated.

  10. With all these seemingly unjust firings like this one, why hasn’t there been lawsuits filed for violating their 1st Amendment rights?

  11. I am hoping that these cases of retribution for holding different views are rare. They could be helpful though, for free speech, because it might force people to come to grips with what has been happening.

    It is also conceivable that some among those who are losing jobs cheered in the past, when others were punished for holding dissenting views. The lesson for them: If you grow snakes, they can turn around and bite you.

    I have emailed the chancellor of the school.

  12. All Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Period. BLM is a violent Marxist organization that hates Capitalism and the USA while channeling donations to the DNC. BLM does not support All Black Lives mattering or they would be doing something about violence in Chicago and abortion. We need a new organization called All Black/All Lives Matter that supports Life, Love, Capitalism, America, Peace, the US Constitution, and Personal Responsibility. The current Marxist BLM is a Trojan horse.

  13. THE MOB along with the MSM will attack anyone who does not agree with them, no matter who and what they say. We have a minority that is vocal along with the aid of Media and a bunch of people who are hiding from the Mob. But, there are signs the silent majority is striking back against this Mob and Radical Socialist leaders and Governors, we see it in California and other areas, people standing up against the MOB.

    Even though the main street manipulated polls don’t show it, there is going to be a Political Backlash come November, against the Mob/Dem Leaders and Dem party.

  14. Neal-Boylan’s quote:
    “I despair for our future as a nation if we do not stand up against violence against anyone. BLACK LIVES MATTER, but also, EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS. No one should have to live in fear that they will be targeted for how they look or what they believe.”

    Turley’s comment:
    “One can understand that many felt that the statement detracted from the need to focus on the treatment and loss of black lives.”

    Sorry, Professor Turley, but I strongly disagree with you. NB DID emphasize that black lives matter and placing that concern within the context that ALL lives matter does not detract from her support of black persons among us.

    Please stop and really think about this for a moment. We are at a moment in time right now in the United States of America where a well-educated professional has been terminated from a prestigious job for the crime of stating that ‘all lives matter.’

    We absolutely must stop framing our statements with a fear that the left will twist them around and use them against us. They ALREADY do that. Just because they refuse to participate in an honest dialog does not mean we can’t do our part. Our part is to be empathetic while still being honest, frank, and courageous.

    1. Indeed,promoting the non stop “black lives matter” is intentionally withdrawing blacks from all lives and isn’t that discrimination against all other races? Throughout history every race has had their burdens – so what.

      1. Lorenzo, though I could have erred, it appears BTB is lying again or severely twisting data beyond recognition. He refers us to his posting where he says “At best this situation is murky”

        Take note the recent Russia intelligence that may or may not be true but never got a consensus IC opinion to BTB is not murky. [How much crazier can one get].

        The reason for firing is quite clear. It’s admitted to. That other issues may exist, as they do in all circumstances, they do not overshadow the actual reason for dismissal.

  15. “One can understand that many felt that the statement detracted from the need to focus on the treatment and loss of black lives.“
    ******************************
    Only if one is an ideologue or buys the nonsense that violent cops are responsible for the “loss of black lives.” There were 10 unarmed black men killed by cops in 2019. Eight were cleared as justified and two are in prosecution. Hardly systemic even if the two are convicted. On the other hand, around 7,700 blacks are killed annually by other blacks — about 93% of all black homicides. So is the big problem violent cops or violent blacks? BLM is a fraud founded on a fraud. And those who even mildly call it into question get this kind of treatment. It’s wrong on every level and meajlymouthing it is tacit acceptance.

      1. He has explained repeatedly why he wouldn’t say it. To defend free speech means to defend the speech that you wouldn’t say. If someone were to say “all blacks should be sent back to Africa,” would Turley have to repeat that statement in order to prove his commitment to free speech? No.

        1. “all blacks should be sent back to Africa,” is wrong and not inclusive. “All lives matter” is not wrong and is inclusive. I see your point but it is interesting how scared even the likes of JT are about writing three words. Do you believe all lives matter?

          1. WANTED: Teaching position, must be mindless, have no thought of your own and must always agree with us. All others need not apply.

          2. There’s no reason to believe that he’s scared to say those words; he’s repeatedly explained why he wouldn’t choose to. Why don’t you believe him? His explanation is the one that’s always given: the statement “all lives matter” detracts from the message that black lives — in particular — matter, that black lives currently matter less than other lives. No one is saying that the statement “all lives matter” isn’t true. No one is saying that it doesn’t logically imply that black lives matter. This has all been explained. The problem is that people who choose to say “all lives matter” — even when their intention is clearly benign as in the current case — are being severely punished for it. That’s completely unacceptable. It’s enough for Turley to insist that everyone should have the right to say those words, for whatever reason, without fear of punishment. How many other political commentators are doing that?

            1. The phrase “black lives matter” is built on the faulty premise that pervasive racism exists in institutions like police forces across America. That premise has been repeatedly disproven.

              Since the premise faulty, then so is the intent of the phrase itself.

              Consequently, there is no legitimate reason to treat that phrase with any meaningful value other than to just take the phrase at face value instead of considering the original intent of the phrase. That leaves us with the logical and legitimate, and arguably necessary, ability to say “all lives matter” without fear of legitimate criticism or fear of demeaning something that has already been shown to be illegitimate.

              1. “Since the premise faulty, then so is the intent of the phrase itself.”

                That’s only true if those who use or respect the phrase agree that the premise is faulty. Obviously they do not. That includes Turley. But if you want to say “all lives matter” as a retort to “black lives matter,” that should be your right regardless of the validity of the premise.

                1. “Since the premise faulty, then so is the intent of the phrase itself.”

                  That’s only true if those who use or respect the phrase agree that the premise is faulty.

                  ——-

                  No, then it’s just someone choosing to believe an alternate version of reality.

                  If JT chooses not to say “all lives matter”, that’s his right to do so, and if the wants to explain that he is doing so because he acknowledges the intent of the phrase “black lives matter”, that’s his right as well. That we can agree upon. But that also reduces JT’s credibility in the same way if he were uncomfortable in criticizing those who say that the earth is flat. Yes, they can say and believe what they want and we can defend their right to say it, but we don’t need to modify our own truthful statements to keep them satisfied.

                  The bottom line is that the truth is the truth, and modifying its expression out of empathy for those espousing untruths devalues that conversation and reduces the credibility of anyone who does that.

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