I’m definitely glad I didn’t go work there:
After penning an op-ed for The New York Times decrying the ideological homogeneity of his campus administration, a conservative-leaning professor at Sarah Lawrence College discovered intimidating messages—including demands that he quit his job—on the door of his office. The perpetrators had torn down the door’s decorations, which had included pictures of the professor’s family. In the two weeks since the incident, Samuel Abrams, a tenured professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence, has repeatedly asked the college’s president, Cristle Collins Judd, to condemn the perpetrators’ actions and reiterate her support for free speech. But after sending a tepid campus-wide email that mentioned the importance of free expression, but mostly stressed her “commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence,” Judd spoke with Abrams over the phone; according to him, she accused him of “attacking” members of the community.
It gets worse as you’ll see if you follow the link. The behavior of teenage vandalists doesn’t bother me because kids will act out, and that’s OK. But if the administration doesn’t stand up for faculty members, that’s very disturbing.
And this part scares me shitless:
The Senate asked me to publicly affirm that Black Lives Matter, that LBGT+ Lives matter, and that Women’s Justice matters,” wrote Judd in the email. “I emphatically did.”
If somebody tried to force me to issue this kind of a declaration of faith, I’d refuse. I was one of the very first people to stand with “Black Lives Matter” signs on campus, long before it became fashionable. It was right after the killing of Michael Brown, and sometimes I stood there with just one other person or alone. I’m very proud that I did. And we all know that I’m fanatical about gay rights and lead a feminist association of scholars. But I don’t do public statements of faith and I find it intolerable and ridiculous that one’s employment at an institution of knowledge should be contingent on them. This is insulting, pathetic and wrong.
How exactly is this better than forcing a liberal professor publicly to affirm that, say, “unborn lives matter” or support for the second amendment? How is this any less disgusting and horrible?
And get this:
Abrams’ dealings with [the college’s president] have further unnerved him. During their conversation, she implied that he should have cleared his public writings with her before submitting them, something he described as unacceptable.
If we go down this road, administration can try to intimidate me into taking down the book reviews I posted over the weekend, for instance, because the author I discussed speaks favorably about nationalism. And then we wonder why more academics don’t share their thoughts with the general public.
I have a friend who is going up for tenure next year, and she tells me she could never blog like I do because she’s be terrified of the possible consequences. And believe me, we’d all gain a lot if this person shared her ideas because she’s absolutely brilliant. But she’s the primary earner in her family and can’t risk it.