Category: Academia

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.

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

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.

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

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””

Hamline University Reportedly Fires Art History Professor Who Showed Images of Muhammad

Hamline University in Minnesota is under fire this week for reportedly declining to renew the contract of an art history professor who showed two ancient art images of the Prophet Muhammad. The unnamed professor reportedly warned about the imagery before advancing the slides to allow any offended students to leave. However, the professor was publicly rebuked by Hamline President Fayneese Miller and Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence David Everett before being effectively fired. We have previously discussed how such contractual or “contingent” faculty often face such non-renewal decisions when they are targeted in cancel campaigns. Continue reading “Hamline University Reportedly Fires Art History Professor Who Showed Images of Muhammad”

Webb of Lies? Astrophysicist Targeted Due to Study Exonerating James Webb of Being Anti-Gay

The storied career of James Webb as the second administrator of NASA (responsible for the Apollo missions) led to the naming of the space telescope in his honor. Now, however, he is the subject of a cancel campaign to remove his name after professors accused him of being anti-gay. That cancel campaign also now includes a black astrophysicist, Hakeem Oluseyi, who published a study exonerating Webb. He is reportedly being banned from leading journals after finding no evidence to support the claim. Regardless of the ultimate conclusions that one can reach on the Webb controversy, there should be universal concern over the growing intolerance for opposing views in academic institutional and journals. Continue reading “Webb of Lies? Astrophysicist Targeted Due to Study Exonerating James Webb of Being Anti-Gay”

A is for Audacity: New School Students Demand A’s for All Courses Regardless of Attendance After Protests

We often follow controversies at universities and there is an interesting one brewing in New York. Students at The New School are demanding A’s in all of their classes after a successful strike in support of adjunct faculty members. After faculty received higher wages and better health care, students are demanding that they should be given As regardless of attendance after participating in the protests. Continue reading “A is for Audacity: New School Students Demand A’s for All Courses Regardless of Attendance After Protests”

Ohio Teacher Files Challenge to Mandatory Pronoun Policy

We have been following litigation over the required use of pronouns in schools. As University of New Mexico joined those schools requiring the use of the chosen pronouns of students, challenges and cases have mounted. They include actions against both teachers and students for refusing to use pronouns due to their political or religious views.  Some of these cases have ended in settlements in favor of the dissenting teachers or professors. Now a new case has been filed in Ohio where Vivian Geraghty, an English teacher at Jackson Memorial Middle School, alleged that she was forced to resign for refusing to comply with the school’s mandatory pronoun policy. Continue reading “Ohio Teacher Files Challenge to Mandatory Pronoun Policy”

Oklahoma, Texas, and Other Schools Join UChicago Alliance on Free Speech

I have previously written of my pride as an alumnus of The University of Chicago in how the school has led the fight for free speech in higher education.  It is also ranked as the number one free speech school in the country. The “Chicago statement” has become the rallying point for schools resisting the anti-free speech movement sweeping over our university and college campuses.  Now both the University of Oklahoma and entire University of Texas system have joined almost 100 schools in signing on to the statement. It remains a minority of schools but the ranks are growing (though often due more to boards than votes of the faculty). Unfortunately, George Washington University (which has been ranked low on free speech rights) has not agreed to this basic statement of free speech protection. Continue reading “Oklahoma, Texas, and Other Schools Join UChicago Alliance on Free Speech”

Poll: Roughly 60 Percent of Students Fear Expressing Their Views in Higher Education

There is a new poll out and it is strikingly similar to the polls previously featured on this blog on free speech and intellectual diversity in higher education.  The Buckley annual survey found that almost 60 percent of college students fear sharing an opinion in classrooms or on campuses. That tracks other polls by different groups.  Yet, colleges and universities continue to exclude Republican and conservative faculty members and maintain environments of speech intolerance. Continue reading “Poll: Roughly 60 Percent of Students Fear Expressing Their Views in Higher Education”

GWU Adjunct Law Professor Loses Worker’s Compensation Case

There is an interesting case this week involving an adjunct professor at George Washington Law School, where I teach.  Hdeel Abdelhady, who teaches part-time in the areas of international trade and Islamic law, sued the university for a variety of torts, including allegations that counsel for the university made overtures to an administrative judge about securing a federal judgeship. Her claims were dismissed by Judge Trevoer McFadden who found that they were foreclosed by worker’s compensation as well as failing to state a claim on various torts.  At the time of the ruling, Abdelhady was proceeding pro se, which also proved an issue for the court to address.

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“Decolonize a Classroom”: Ex-UCSD Professor Defends Course with Guaranteed As and No Homework

As many of us gear up for our final exams and the long slog of grading, the approach of a former University of California (San Diego) teacher is particularly enticing. Libs of Tik Tok, the previously banned group on Twitter, posted a video of Chandler Puritty where she explained that one way that she has found to “decolonize a classroom” has been to guarantee all students As and no homework.  She also said that she built in “weeks of excused absences” for those who need to skip classes entirely. Continue reading ““Decolonize a Classroom”: Ex-UCSD Professor Defends Course with Guaranteed As and No Homework”