Indiana University Provost: The First Amendment says we can't fire our notorious bigot professor, so here's what we're doing instead

Plus humiliation with double blind grading. That is fucking hilarious and a master stroke. Fucking with their egos is one of the best ways to get an academic to move along (assuming they are employable enough to get a job at another institution)


Wait, what?! The First Amendment certainly does not protect someone from being fired for saying horrible things on social media. People get fired for this all the time. What the hell is this university talking about? This seems more like bending over backwards to avoid challenging his tenure, probably to avoid lawsuits.

ETA: in other words they are making his life hell to try and get him to quit. This is not a story of noble university cleverness. It’s a story of standard academia political maneuvering. My friends in that space tell me stories like this all the time. Couching this in “the first amendment” is PR nonsense.


The first is pretty easy; just make sure he teaches classes with multiple sections anyway. (IU isn’t exactly small.) The second will get pushed onto someone on top of their other responsibilities, with no course reduction or pay raise.



The problem I see with that is he will attract youth who share his views. But it’s better than just letting him continue on as usual.


Not in academia. Unless, that is, you Tweet out your objections to the slaughter of your own (Palestinian) people.

I watched in anguish as Israel killed more than 2,100 people during its recent bombing of Gaza, 70 percent of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Like so many others, I took to my Twitter account. I posted tweets critical of Israel’s actions, mourning in particular the death of more than 500 of Gaza’s children.

A partisan political blog cherry-picked a few of those tweets from hundreds to create the false impression that I am anti-Semitic. Publicly disclosed documents reveal that, within days, University of Illinois donors who disagreed with my criticism of Israeli policy threatened to withhold money if I wasn’t fired. My academic career was destroyed over gross mischaracterizations of a few 140-character posts.


Not the only one…


I’d suggest a cheap fix may be to send him on a field trip somewhere that he wouldn’t be able to resist commenting. More than one student will catch his true colours on camera and bye bye professor.


And I wonder who or what inspired this :thinking:


I can see a lot of objections for taking his class, but if he doesn’t talk about anything that can be used to fire him and the double-blind grading doesn’t show him being unfair with minorities, then his course quality is the relevant aspect to decide to take it or not.
And, if the university wants to fire him, they will need the minority students to take his class to be able to measure any discrimination to justify his firing.
Knowing what he things and the opinions he post outside of his job makes it easier to handle how he behaves in class than a closeted professor.
The biggest problem seems about the students he advises, since they have to interact much more with him than the students who can treat his class as just another shit one that is required to graduate.


Yes, we shouldn’t forget him either, yet another talented academic who was fired for objecting to Israeli state atrocities.

And yet, academia exists in more and more American minds as a leftist-controlled hotbed of “cultural marxist” “indoctrination.” It’s conservatives who really get treated unfairly in academia!!! :roll_eyes:

Last I heard, Salaita drives a school bus now.


Anyone who thinks academia is a hot bed of cultural marxism has never been in academia, except maybe as an undergrad.


So, the only defences against an odious gentleman with the armed with the 1st amendment is…?

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Great idea.

It’s easy to imagine that almost all of you girls have had sex outside of marriage. Sluts, sluts, you’re all SLUTS!*

*A parody of the words of a man who said the following, and who also actually uses the word “adultress”:

Is “slut” a slur against women? Not at all. It is a slur against certain women, against a minority of women, and for them it is a justified slur, a descriptive one. A women who sleeps with 100 men in a year is a slut. Whether her sleeping with 100 men is moral or immoral is a question of one’s standards. To be sure, using the word “slut” implies that you think it is immoral, but that is a reasonable position to take.


Government institutions, including public universities, are more restricted in the speech they can fire people for. (At least, that’s my understanding, but IANAL, I am not American, etc.)


Who’s saying there’s only one?


from what I know of the area (my best friend is a professor at the school) this guys classes will probably remain pretty filled. the folks are pretty damned racist in the area. check out the stories of the farmer’s market and klan flyering neighborhoods.


The most stinging revenge might be to use the guy’s theories against him— after all, he did defend laws criminalizing the burning of flags-- he has rejected the role of free speech martyr.

On the other hand it might be better to not engage with trolls.


This guy is a terrible person. My first weekend as a graduate student at IU in 2003 there was a protest over the comments he made on his blog (it was hosted on an IU server which raised additional questions about Freedom of Speech).

Nothing happened to him and he has continued to be terrible as his “defense” of his comments shows.

For a professor, he is shockingly bad at making an argument because none of his claims have any evidence to support them. He has been claiming that male homosexuals shouldn’t be high school or elementary school teachers since at least 2003 and in those 16 years he still hasn’t bothered to give any data for that claim. His only defense is “I think it is ok if they teach college if they are really good academics…”

Rather than talking to someone (maybe in the Women’s Studies department which he has dismissed and mischaracterization in the past ) he just repeats his statements about “sluts.”

He also totally ignores any of the claimed reasons why affirmative action needs to exist and then claims that people don’t want to debate it when he himself offers no evidence that he has taken any time to engage with the pre-existing arguments for affirmative action.

If he wants to debate affirmative action, the usefulness of Women’s Studies, or why Male homosexuals should be able to teach whatever they want (I guess he doesn’t care about lesbians?) then he should take his own advice and actually engage with the material rather than spouting unsupported claims. Making unsupported claims isn’t an argument.

Instead he just plays the old “Conservtive Christians are the REAL victims” defense…

Sadly, being Indiana, if they do fire him, there will be a huge shitstorm from the state government.


The first amendment protects people from governmental reprisals for their speech. His employers are state actors. They can’t fire him for speech. Private employers are not subject to this limitation, and do “fire people for this all the time”.


So even if the current presidential impeachment process includes enough of the Senate agreeing to dump Trump (who’s also a “state actor”) because of what he said during a phone call, dumping him can’t actually happen?

Unless by “state” you mean like, the state of Indiana?

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