Professor files defamation lawsuit against Tik Tok conspiracy theorist who accused her in University of Idaho murders

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Scofield thereby suffers the Streisand Effect, at least when it comes to the Internet’s inexhaustible supply of trollies and conspiracy theorists

Isn’t the Streisand Effect what happens when someone tries to suppress knowledge of something that they actually did, only to end up publicising it? This is more a case of someone defending themselves against another person trying to publicise a complete lie about them.

“I am actually gleaming with excitement,” she said. "I’m going to immediately start planning because I cannot wait to present my ideas in court regarding Rebecca Scofield

“Swivel-eyed” doesn’t begin to describe the level of delusion present in this individual.


"I am actually gleaming with excitement … I cannot wait to present my ideas in court regarding Rebecca Scofield and her role in the murder of the four University of Idaho students.”

Translation: I don’t have legal counsel yet, don’t understand how the legal system works, and will probably be ground into paste at trial.


The judge will likely explain:

GIF by Giphy QA


Small thing to some, but the article claims that she’s an assistant professor, and department chair. That outdated information seems to come from an un-updated webpage of hers. She a tenured Associate Professor of American History and Chair. Her specialties are:

Her research focuses on the history of gender and sexuality, the American West, and popular performance.

She has published articles on the 1980s urban cowboy, Dolly Parton’s body politics, and Idaho women’s history. Her first book Outriders: Rodeo at the Fringes of the America West (Univ. of Washington Press, 2019) examines how marginalized groups, such as gay men and incarcerated people, used rodeo to assert their place in a national mythology.

She is the Principle Investigator for the Gay Rodeo Oral History Project , co-creator of the web exhibit Voices of Gay Rodeo, and co-author of the verbatim theater piece That Damn Horse: The Stories of Gay Rodeo. She is currently co-authoring a second book entitled Slapping Leather: Sport and Performance at the Gay Rodeo.

Her bio is not on the U Idaho History Department site, which is understandable. Her work sounds absolutely fascinating.

ETA: Odd bio. There are faculty of higher rank in her department who could have been chair. That’s weird. She earned tenure earlier than normal—consideration normally happens during the sixth year, she got tenure in 2021, and had started in January 2016, which means she was tenured at the end of her fourth full year. She got her doctorate in 2015, so she didn’t have that much credit. So she became chair when she got tenure and promotion. Also weird. Women often get dragooned into earlier-and-too much-service, so I wonder what’s going on here. Her CV suggests an incredible scholar, but the administrative stuff is weird. It suggests problems in the department when you put someone with so little experience into the position. @Mindysan33, your read?


Completely off-topic, but you might be interested in this tale of academic plagiarism and grifting.


Tenure rules vary from school to school. She may have come in with credit toward tenure, or the school may have offered an accelerated tenure roadmap.

Similarly, seniority isn’t always the deciding factor when selecting a chair for the department. I’m currently the senior person in my department (actually, in my college, as well), but there’s no way I would take on that job, primarily because it would keep me out of the classroom. Some schools rotate the “chair” designation through the tenured faculty every few years, to keep things fresh (and, I suspect, to avoid burning out whoever is in that position).


Not everyone wants to be department chair, it involves a lot of administrative work that takes teachers out of the classroom and away from the type of thing that drove us to academia in the first place.

In my department the chair position is held on a rotating basis and the selection process for each term is basically a bunch of tenured faculty declaring “NOT IT!!”

ETA: what @Murgatroyd said


I looked up their rules. It’s the traditional “go up in the sixth year.” Find them here. Plenty of faculty get credit for stuff they bring in from before they are hired. She had one article, which isn’t much these days. She had a year as an adjunct, which also wouldn’t mean much at an R1. All of her tenure-relevant stuff happened after she was hired. Yes, she could have petitioned the Provost and Dean (who is a historian from the department) to go up early, and by their rules she must have.

In history departments I’ve been in, it is odd to go up that early. One year (consideration in your 5th year)? Sure. It happens. When people are extraordinary, and bring in experience from a tenured position. Two (consideration in your fourth)? Rare, especially when someone brings in virtually no other experience. Consideration that early is usually accompanied by some full-time work elsewhere, and exceeding, not meeting, the department’s guidelines. She went up with a book and three articles. That’s not a huge amount of scholarship for an R1, so I’d guess she met the department’s guidelines, but probably didn’t exceed them by any big amount. Admins don’t like doing early tenure because it sets a precedent. But, ok. She petitions the Provost and the Dean (who, being a historian, might want to avoid appearing as if he’s favored one of his own), and the Dean says “go for it.” But to be made chair in the same month you get promotion? That’s extraordinary, and suggests that something is not right in that department. (Quite aside from the accusations of murder swirling about).

Anyway, I suspect this will all come out eventually.

ETA to add, yeah, I don’t know why anyone would want to be a chair. Absolutely shit job. The worst on campus.


The most extreme case of tenure credit I’ve seen here was for someone who came from a tenured position elsewhere; he was given five years’ credit, and went up for tenure after his first year. (That’s the only time that’s happened, as far as I know.) However, he was well-known in the field, and had several books and many other publications.


In my limited experience, the people who wanted to be head of the Dept and other Admin roles were the worse teachers. At least in the art department. :confused: YMMV


The best Chair I ever had was a guy who was dragged kicking and screaming into the role, with the promise of a year’s sabbatical after the five-year term was up. He hated being Chair, and was great at it.


Why would it, though? How is her personal career advancement either a topic of public interest or remotely relevant to the reason she’s suing for defamation?


Precisely what I was thinking. A person has been defamed, must we stroke our chins and join in muckraking? How could it be relevant?


Seems like a bunch of academics getting themselves in a tizzy about the minutia of academia; what are the odds?

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That person is loony and delusional AF! No cards needed to predict she will be destroyed in court, then deflect blame after defeat.

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Because she’s about to be put through the ringer by a publicity-hound blogger who will no doubt seize on the fact that she does the history of gay cowboys, which will feed a certain segment of the public. There will be digging.

To be clear, I’m not judging her, her credentials, or her worthiness for tenure. Her work looks terrific, and I’ve put her book in my Amazon cart, waiting for payday. What I am saying is that it’s an unusual path, and so to me of academic interest how she got there. A friend of. I’ve got put into the Chair position the day she got tenure, and In that cae (and others I’ve seen) it’s because there’s a problem in the department.


I don’t think the Streisand Effect is quite so specific. It doesn’t have to be something that’s truthful, just anything that you don’t want publicized that gets publicized by efforts to stop it. That it’s blatantly untruthful in this case just makes it a horrible dilemma.

(Perhaps another term would be good for situations where the Streisand Effect is formally present but the Streisandee is a victim forced into triggering it by circumstances. We could call it the Scofield Corollary, just to rub it in)


well. maybe that’s the answer right there. nobody wanted to be chair, everyone agreed she was getting tenure eventually anyway, so she traded accelerated tenure for becoming the chair.

ahhh… now we know why she’s been targeted. i hate people sometimes. she’s out there being awesome, so of course she’s going to be attacked. :face_with_head_bandage:

it’s ironic that the appellation has - for me at least - completely erased whatever she did for it to become named that way.

i wonder how many other people are in the same boat. ( i know i could go look it up. i guess i’m savoring the mystery at this point. )


Maybe she can ask Alex Jones for legal tips?