A Portland State University professor has resigned in a scathing public letter in which he slammed the university for not allowing any type of thought that didn’t suit its liberal agenda, calling it a ‘social justice factory’ that drives ‘intolerance of divergent beliefs’.
Peter Boghossian was a full-time assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University until his resignation letter was published on Wednesday.
He shared the letter with Bari Weiss, a former New York Times columnist who quit her role at the paper after claiming to encounter the same refusal to consider non-liberal ideas that Boghossian describes at PSU.
Boghossian said college staff were abdicating their ‘truth seeking mission’ and instead driving intolerance of ‘divergent reliefs’ by squashing any view that was not liberal.
‘Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues,’ he wrote.
Boghossian previously penned a collection of hoax papers and submitted them to academic journals to prove that they would print anything that went along with their ideals, even if the theories in them were fake.
They included papers on dog rape and an adaptation to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The left reacted badly to it, saying he’d wasted editors’ time.
Boghossian says he was harassed on campus with swastikas written on bathroom walls with his name next to them, purely because he had challenged the university’s idea.
He claims that at one time flyers went around campus depicting him with a Pinocchio nose, that he was spit on and that colleagues told students not to take his class.
The university has not responded to his claims or the resignation letter.
‘Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions.
‘And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male,’ he wrote.
Boghossian says the university failed to take action after a tenured professor interrupted his discussion with author Christina Hoff Sommers and evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying in March 2018.
He also said activists pulled speaker wires from one of his panels and that someone triggered a fire alarm at another.
Boghossian, in his resignation letter, also describes how university administrators investigated him in 2017 after receiving a complaint under Title XI – which protects against gender or sex based discrimination – from a man.
He said he was informed by students who were interviewed for the investigation that they were asked if he’d ever beat his wife or kids.
In the end, the investigation found that his accuser’s claims were unsubstantiated.
Boghossian says the harassment became worse when he produced a series of hoax papers in an effort to prove that academic journals would print them without checking, so long as they seemed to align with left-wing views.
From 2017 to 2018, the trio wrote 20 papers with absurd premises related to social justice. Four of them were eventually published in reputable journals.
The’ study was meant to ‘reboot’ conversations around topics like gender, race and sexuality, the authors wrote in Aero Magazine.
‘We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research,’ they said.
Among their works was an article in Cogent Social Sciences that alleged penises were the product of the human mind and responsible for climate change.
Their papers included the phrases ‘gender-performative, high fluid social construct’, ‘exclusionary to disenfranchised communities’, and ‘isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity’.
Boghossian says the university accused him of ‘not receiving approval to experiment on human subjects’ after the trio was found out by reporters at the Wall Street Journal, cutting their hoax short.
‘Shortly thereafter, swastikas in the bathroom with my name under them began appearing in two bathrooms near the philosophy department.
‘They also occasionally showed up on my office door, in one instance accompanied by bags of feces. Our university remained silent.
‘When it acted, it was against me, not the perpetrators.’
He also described a Title IX investigation against him in the 2016-2017 school year, when a student seemed to have accused Boghossian of beating his wife.
‘My accuser, a white male, made a slew of baseless accusations against me, which university confidentiality rules unfortunately prohibit me from discussing further. What I can share is that students of mine who were interviewed during the process told me the Title IX investigator asked them if they knew anything about me beating my wife and children.
‘This horrifying accusation soon became a widespread rumor,’ he wrote.
‘Universities can enforce ideological conformity just through the threat of these investigations.’
Title IX is a 1972 civil rights law that prevents discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Boghossian’s resignation comes as a slew of school teachers and college professors leave the classroom over similar complaints of a monolithic culture that leaves no room for debate.
Last month, Laura Morris quit in an emotional address at the Loudoun County School Board, where she explained why the ‘equity trainings’ and political dogma forced her to resign.
She said she could no longer be part of an organization that told her ‘white, Christian, able-bodied females’ needed to be reined in.
‘This summer I have struggled with the idea of returning to school, knowing that I’ll be working yet again with a school division that, despite its shiny tech and flashy salary, promotes political ideologies that do not square with who I am as a believer in Christ,’ she said.
At $50,000-a-year Dalton in New York City, it was parents who made the first move.
‘Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity, “racist cop” reenactments in science, “de-centering whiteness” in art class, learning about white supremacy and sexuality in health class,’ parents of students at the private school wrote in a letter in April.
The head of the school, Jim Best, later resigned.
Some professors have complained that their school are not progressive enough, like when star professor Cornell West resigned from Harvard Divinity School in a letter in July.
West accused the university of denying him a tenured position because of ‘the Harvard administration’s hostility to the Palestinian cause,’ which he supports.
‘We all know the mendacious reasons given had nothing to do with academic standards,’ he wrote.