Category: Academia

“Tragedy … Might be Triggering”: British Universities Add Warnings for Greek and Shakespearean Plays

The problem with universities overwhelmingly controlled by faculty on the left is that there are few to offer a dose of reality or rationality. Left to their own devices, some faculty seem to search for new ways to demonstrate woke priorities. British universities have long been ridiculed for policies controlling speech or symbols. Now, The Telegraph is reporting that British universities are adding trigger warnings to Greek and Shakespearean tragedies to protect students from being triggered by tragedy. Indeed, there are now warnings on other classics for everything from “ableism” to “depictions of rural life.”

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“We are the Faculty”: Hamline Professors Demand President’s Resignation After Abandoning Due Process and Academic Freedom

We previously discussed the action of Hamline University not to renew the contract of an art professor, Erika Prater, who showed an image of Muhammad as part of an arts class. The action was an affront to both free speech and academic freedom.  Prater has sued. In the meantime, the faculty has voted 72-12 to condemn the action and demand that Hamline President Fayneese Miller resign. With the exception of the 12 faculty dissenters, it is a relatively rare demonstration of academic courage in standing up to an anti-free speech mob. They are correct. Miller should resign immediately based on what we already know about this scandal. Continue reading ““We are the Faculty”: Hamline Professors Demand President’s Resignation After Abandoning Due Process and Academic Freedom”

Creighton University Bars Gun Rights Advocates from Showing Images of Guns on Campus

Creighton University is under fire this week after it told students that they could not continue to use posters or handouts that featured guns. In an email (below), Sarah Giacomini, assistant director for programming and student organizations, declared that “we will not allow any images of guns to be used.” Given students who want to advocate for Second Amendment rights, the ban is akin to telling pro-choice students that they cannot show pictures of morning-after pills or telling pot legalization advocates that cannot show pictures of joints. Creighton is insisting that you can advocate for gun rights so long as you do not actually show an image of a gun. Continue reading “Creighton University Bars Gun Rights Advocates from Showing Images of Guns on Campus”

“Re-imagining Undergraduate Mathematics…with Structural Disruptions”: Vanderbilt Professor Denounces the Math Field as Racist

We recently discussed a professor who declared that astrophysics is racist due to its focus on “individualism” and exceptionalism.” These critiques are part of a larger movement alleging that everything from math to meritocracy is racist. The latest controversy centers around a lecture by Luis Leyva, associate professor of mathematics education at Vanderbilt University entitled “Undergraduate Mathematics Education as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space and Opportunities for Structural Disruption to Advance Queer of Color Justice.” In other words, math is a racist field of study advancing white male, straight “conforming-to-assigned sex” individuals.

Tulane Launches Investigation of Student Who Defended Kanye West and Advised Her to Leave Campus

Tulane University (where I once taught) has opened up an investigation into a student, Sarah Ma, after she wrote an opinion piece defending Kanye West in his wearing a “White Lives Matters” shirt and justifying comments that are widely viewed as antisemitic.  In addition to the university telling Ma that she should leave the campus for her own safety, Erica Woodley, Tulane’s Associate Vice President & Dean of Students, sent out an email announcing that it was investigating the matter. Woodley stated “While the importance of free expression on a university campus cannot be overstated, words that run counter to our core values impact our community.” Perhaps Tulane cannot “overstate” free speech values, but it is clearly under protecting them in taking this action. Continue reading “Tulane Launches Investigation of Student Who Defended Kanye West and Advised Her to Leave Campus”

Colorado College Professor: Astrophysics is Racist Due to Emphasis on Individualism and Exceptionalism

Professor Natalie Gosnell has declared that astrophysics is a racist field. That itself is not unique. We have discussed how professors like Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis have declared math, statistics, and technology as “inherently racist.” However, Gosnell’s reason is that academia continues to focus on “individualism” and “exceptionalism.” Continue reading “Colorado College Professor: Astrophysics is Racist Due to Emphasis on Individualism and Exceptionalism”

USC Department Declares the Word “Field” to be “Anti-Black”

We have long discussed the increasing speech regulations and restrictions sweeping across universities in the United States, including mandating the use of pronouns and barring the use of other terms. The latest example comes from the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworek-Peck School of Social Work which has declared that the term “field” is racist and “anti-Black.” Thus, you cannot say that you are going to do “field work.” “Field” will be replaced with “practicum,” according to the January 9 memo. The announcement was made by the office not of “field education” but the non-racist “Office of Practicum Education.” Continue reading “USC Department Declares the Word “Field” to be “Anti-Black””

Human Rights Professor Shutdown at McGill by Trans-Rights Protesters

McGill University became the latest flashpoint for the anti-free speech movement this month when trans-rights advocates shut down a speech by Robert Wintemute, a professor of human rights law at King’s College London. He is also an alumnus of McGill. The CBC reported that McGill University’s Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) hosted the event, titled “Sex vs. Gender (Identity) Debate In the United Kingdom and the Divorce of LGB from T.” Students and protesters shouted down every effort by Wintemute and others to be heard. Yet, McGill has not declared any move to punish those responsible for the blocking the event despite videotapes clearly showing those responsible. Continue reading “Human Rights Professor Shutdown at McGill by Trans-Rights Protesters”

Emory Law Professor Denounces the Late Antonin Scalia as “Basically a Klansman”

In the age of rage, it often seems that the most rageful reign supreme. That appears to be the case of Emory law professor, Darren Hutchinson, who has claimed that the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was “basically a Klansman.”  The disgraceful attack was met by silence from most law professors despite the fact that Hutchinson’s support for the claim is breathtakingly off-base and would mean that a majority of the Court in 1986 were basically KKK members. Continue reading “Emory Law Professor Denounces the Late Antonin Scalia as “Basically a Klansman””

Diversity Through Obscurity: Applicants Told to Delete Names of Schools on their Resumes

Colleges and universities have been implementing controversial new diversity reforms, including dropping standardized test scores, that eliminate objective criteria in academic admissions or advancement. Now, HR&A Advisors, the TriBeCa-based real estate consultancy, has drawn attention to its LinkedIn posting asking applicants to  to remove “all undergraduate and graduate school name references” from their résumés. In order to achieve diversity goals, the company wants applicants to only list the degree and not where it came from. It is equity through obscurity. It is as irrational to eliminate any consideration of an academic institution as it is to rely exclusively on the academic institution.

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“There Should Be Censorship”: NYU Professor Calls for Censorship for Those Speaking with “Negative Intent”

One of the most frustrating aspects for the free speech community these days is when anti-free speech advocates claim to be champions of free speech before calling for censorship. That was the case last year when Barack Obama bizarrely called himself “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist” before calling for sweeping censorship and media controls over expression. This week, it was NYU Communications professor Gabrielle Gambrell who prefaced a call for censorship by assuring the audience on Dr. Phil that “I am extremely in favor of the First Amendment.”  It turns out that she loves free speech as much as a glutton loves his lunch. She proceeded to carve up free speech as an impediment to self-improvement through censorship.

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Stony Brook Professor Under Fire For Denouncing Officers Who Shot Suspect …Who Was Stabbing Them

A Stony Brook University professor is under fire this week after she called two police officers “murderers” for shooting dead a suspect.  Social Welfare professor Anna Hayward denounced the officers despite the fact that the officers suffered “serious stab wounds” from the suspects before shooting him. I understand the anger of those who have called for Hayward to be fired. The attack on the officers was unwarranted and seems part of long-standing anti-police views. However, as will come as little surprise for many on this blog, I believe that adverse actions would violate core free speech rights. Continue reading “Stony Brook Professor Under Fire For Denouncing Officers Who Shot Suspect …Who Was Stabbing Them”

“Take Them to the Slaughterhouse”: Trustee Calls for “Culling” Faculty Members

MIT Adopts Free Speech Resolution: “We Cannot Prohibit Speech as Offensive or Injurious.”

We recently discussed schools joining the University of Chicago free speech alliance. Now, the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have adopted a resolution defending freedom of speech and expression, including speech deemed  “offensive or injurious.” It is a triumph for free speech. However, while 98 faculty voted for the resolution, 52 professors voted against the free speech principles.

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Virginia Administrators Under Fire at Elite High School for Reportedly Delaying Academic Recognitions in the Interest of “Equity”

We previously discussed the lowering of admission standards at Virginia’s elite Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to achieve diversity goals. Now the school is again under fire for waiting roughly a month to distribute National Merit certificates in the name of equity. The decision meant that students could not report the awards on their college applications before the passage of the October 31 deadline. Continue reading “Virginia Administrators Under Fire at Elite High School for Reportedly Delaying Academic Recognitions in the Interest of “Equity””