Monday, June 05, 2017

Don't Send Your Child to This College

Jonathan Turley on Evergreen State College.  JT is on target.

The best new is that the School's enrollment is plunging and it has budget problems.  I'm hoping it goes under.  We do not need faculty like this teaching our children and influencing them.
We previously discussed the proposal at Evergreen State College to have all white faculty, staff, and students leave campus for a day as part of a “Day of Absence” to raise awareness of the contribution of the black community.   Evergreen State College biology professor Bret Weinstein made a reasoned objection to the plan for this year’s “Day of Absence.” As shown in a videotape, there was a mob scene around Weinstein as students called him a racist and called for his resignation.  Protests have denounced his “anti-blackness” and demanded his removal from teaching.  Now, the faculty at Evergreen State College has sent a letter to students supporting the protesters and their demands for  disciplinary action of Prof. Weinstein.

The faculty called for none of the students to be disciplined under “the misguided language of the current Student Conduct Code.”  The letter also calls for actions to counter “alt-right narratives that are demonizing Evergreen and Day of Absence specifically.” The most disturbing call for action is the last:

Demonstrate accountability by pursuing a disciplinary investigation against Bret Weinstein according to guidelines in the Social Contract and Faculty Handbook. Weinstein has endangered faculty, staff, and students, making them targets of white supremacist backlash by promulgating misinformation in public emails, on national television, in news outlets, and on social media.

The videotape of the students was appalling it their treatment of Weinstein and I fail to see why Weinstein’s objections to this discriminatory proposal is worthy of investigation.

The 71 professors state that they are “angry and frustrated and concerned” but seem little concerned for academic freedom or free speech, a growing failure among faculty in other schools (as demonstrated recently at Northwestern).  I fail to see why Weinstein should be investigated in standing up against a deeply troubling proposal and arguing that “On a college campus, one’s right to speak — or to be — must never be based on skin color.”

Racial protests have occurred all year and in January, according to the student newspaper the Cooper Point Journal, students grabbed a microphone during a ceremony welcoming the new police chief and chanted “F— cops!”  There is a concern that Evergreen could face that same downward spiral of University of Missouri after a series of protests over racisms and demands to reforms.  We have discussed how the school is now faced with plunging enrollments and budget problems.

President George Bridges has refused to take any action against the students and agreed with protesters to require mandatory cultural competency training for all faculty and staff.  He has also ordered a comprehensive effort to combat what minority students describe as a hostile environment.

The letter is likely to exacerbate tensions with legislators who are looking at options for stripping funds from the college and even forcing it to go private (a move that could result in the closure of the school).  Republican State Rep. Matt Manweller is leading the effort.  Manweller wants the school to move into private ownership over five years. It could be a tough transition in this economic environment after the state withdraws its $24 million in capital funding currently allocated under the state budget.

Threats have led to closures on campus.  Weinstein himself was not allowed to teach in his classroom but instead meet his students in a park out of fear of violence. He wrote about that decision:

This presented traditional independent academic minds with a choice: Accept the plan and let the intellectual descendants of Critical Race Theory dictate the bounds of permissible thought to the sciences and the rest of the college, or insist on discussing the plan’s shortcomings and be branded as racists. Most of my colleagues chose the former, and the protesters are in the process of articulating the terms. I dissented and ended up teaching in the park.

Here is the letter: Faculty letter

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