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National Review
National Review
8 Jul 2023
George Leef

NextImg:The Corner: Appeals Court Rules University Can Punish Professor for Criticizing ‘Diversity’ Hiring

The academic left has no tolerance for faculty members who aren’t all in favor of the DEI agenda. It will look for any pretext to punish those who dare to disagree.

That was the case at North Carolina State where Professor David Porter complained about a departmental hire that he thought was ill-advised, done just to increase “diversity.” That bit of honesty caused the university to punish him. Porter sued, but the Fourth Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, held that the university was in the right.

Hans Bader examines the case in this Liberty Unyielding post. 

A slice:

Yet the Fourth Circuit ruled that the professor’s email about a diversity-oriented faculty search, which complained that a colleague ‘cut corners [in] vetting’ a black finalist ‘out of a desire to hire a Black scholar whose work focused on racial issues,’ was not on a matter of public concern — and thus not protected by the First Amendment, because it (a) ‘was an unprofessional attack on one of [his] colleagues,’ and (b) was ‘sent only to other faculty members.’ This “unprofessionalism” claim is diametrically at odds with the Supreme Court’s Rankin decision saying that ‘the inappropriate…character of a statement is irrelevant to the question whether it deals with a matter of public concern.’

Porter’s criticism was “uncollegial” and that’s NC State’s pretext. Bader shows that this feeble excuse prevailed with the two Democrat-appointed judges on the panel, but is not likely to survive if the case goes to the Supreme Court.

This is another instance of the academic left trying to “cull the herd” by eliminating faculty members who aren’t leftist zealots.