Posted at 9:48 AM on Monday, April 27, 2009 by David Horowitz
Finally universities are responding to the six-year campaign we have waged to restore academic standards to our universities and stop the political indoctrination of students in the classroom. The heart of this campaign is the effort to provide students with academic freedom rights so they can complain about professorial abuse in the classroom. Now our campaign is bearing fruit. At the University of California Santa Barbara, where I have spoken more than once and as recently as last spring, students have filed a complaint against an outrageous but not uncommon behavior by Professor William I. Robinson. The incident was reported in InsideHigherEd and commented on in this blog:
April 23, 2009
High comedy from a jackass
I have not really followed David Horowitz's campaigns on higher education (I have not read his education bill of rights), but I am exceedingly sympathetic to his general proposition that higher education is heavily corrupted by, among other things, ideological fanaticism.
A UC-Santa Barbara sociology professor has given Horowitz a hand by misusing his position. Says Inside Higher Ed: "At issue is an e-mail message that [Professor] Robinson sent to the approximately 80 students in January in a course about sociology and globalization. The e-mail contained an an article criticizing the Israeli military's actions in Gaza. Part of the e-mail was an assemblage of photos from Nazi Germany's persecution of Jews and from Israel's actions in Gaza. Students were invited to look at the "parallel images." A message from Robinson argued that Gaza would be like "Israel's Warsaw." . . .
A second student complaint accusing Robinson of being unprofessional -- also from a student who dropped the course after receiving the e-mail -- said that Robinson has "clearly stated his anti-Semitic political views in this e-mail." The first student e-mailed to ask Robinson what she was supposed to do with the material and he replied that it was for her information, although he now says that the material was part of his teaching about globalization and that his answer to her meant only that she didn't have to do anything immediately with the material.
UCSB is now proceeding with an investigation. The charges officer sent Robinson an e-mail explaining why the probe was going ahead to the next stage: "[H]ere is a summary of the allegations: You, as professor of an academic course, sent to each student enrolled in that course a highly partisan email accompanied by lurid photographs. The e-mail was unexpected and without educational context. You offered no explanation of how the material related to the content of the course. You offered no avenue to discuss, nor encouraged any response, to the opinions and photographs included in the e-mail. You directly told a student who inquired that the e-mail was not connected to the course. As a result, two enrolled students were too distraught to continue with the course. The constellation of allegations listed above, if substantially true, may violate the Faculty Code of Conduct." He cited rules in the code that bar faculty members from "significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course" and "use of the position or powers of a faculty member to coerce the judgment or conscience of a student or to cause harm to a student for arbitrary or personal reasons."
This is the sort of stuff that gives professors a deservedly bad name. I still recall the high farce of the eighties when sociology was routinely considered an easy course, because all you had to do was repeat a couple of bits of jargon and affirm how much you hated Ronald Reagan. I have noted before that academics tend to have herd like, predictable, and uninteresting policy views, and, scandalously, routinely inflict them on their students. This jackass has made David Horowitz's job a lot easier. By the way, you do not want to miss his picture he posted on his web page, in front of the embarrassing "people before profits" poster. I cannot imagine how you could parody this, although I cannot say I would find it funny if I had to take one of his classes.
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