Who runs Heterodox Academy?
I ask because even though I have publicly discussed my displeasure with the organization, I was nonetheless taken aback by an article recently published on the Heterodox Academy website because it went way beyond this. that I would have already expected from the organization for its defense of diversity of points of view.
The article is written by Ilana Redstone, professor of sociology at the University of Illinois and titled “Condemning Harassment Should Not Mean Dismissing Concerns: A Response to the Campus Reform Controversy.” study by a team of researchers working under the banner of the American Association of University Teachers (AAUP), and brief report from study to Chronicle of higher education.
The original study used a survey instrument to ask professors targeted by the website Campus reform what kind of consequences they suffered. The survey found that 40% of those polled had been threatened, including threats of “physical violence or death, as a result of Campus reform stories about them. A disproportionate percentage of those facing threats were African Americans, and the vast majority of stories Campus reform had covered the public discourse involved, outside the classroom or in other professional contexts.
Campus reform is funded by the Right-Wing Leadership Institute, which in turn is funded by the Koch family. The Leadership Institute is dedicated, in their own words, to training “freedom fighters to effectively defeat the radical left.
In a fundraising post on their website, Campus Reform said “now is the time to speak out against leftist thugs and their attacks on freedom.”
Campus Reform operates on an outrage for the clicks and cash model. Write to Interception, Alice Speri reports this Campus reformContributing authors (mainly students) are paid by the piece, thus increasing according to the number of pieces accepted. The most prominent articles can find the authors in bigger places like Fox News and pave the way for careers in partisan conversational media. Liberal abuse tipsters who don’t want to write the articles can earn $ 50 for their information.
So you know, just your source for news and information on garden varieties operating under the well-established ethics of the journalism profession and a totally reliable source on potential liberal biases among college professors. .
The explicit purpose of campus reform is to intimidate faculty, stifle their public discourse, and restrict their academic freedoms.
It works! The ASUP survey found that among those who had received threats of harm, 39% had reduced their social media presence. Twelve percent had changed their teaching, and 6% had changed their research program for fear of further harassment.
Speri shares the specific story of LSU Assistant Professor Alyssa Johnson targeted by Campus reform on a tweet, which ultimately resulted in harassment and threats that forced her to leave her home.
In his article, Professor Redstone begins the whitening of Campus reform with its characterization of the site as “a conservative outlet focused on higher education”, which is tantamount to calling the coronavirus, “a biological entity interested in close contact with humans”.
Redstone is not pro-harassment, she assures us, but she also believes that the original researchers, “are failing to address the real concerns that have sparked Campus reform articles in question. “
Plus, as Redstone says, who can say these professors didn’t deserve it? According to her, “although this proves that the instructors named in the Campus reform Although articles tend to receive threats, the results do not provide any information on whether the incidents mentioned in these articles merit concern. Maybe we’re just supposed to assume that Campus reform coverage is only based on conservative hysteria. “
Rather than pursuing this line of inquiry itself and presenting specific cases worthy of concern, Redstone instead returns to the investigation, somehow distorting the fact that the vast majority of professors targeted were engaging in a public discourse into a potential indictment of their classroom practices.
Redstone says, “However, the onus is on Campus reform to affirmatively demonstrate that instructors bring their public figures into the classroom? “
Um yes? Completely, and totally, unequivocally yes?
She continues, “Or is the onus on instructors – or academia in general – to demonstrate that those whose social media personalities are obviously prejudiced leave their prejudices behind when they enter class?”
You will never have a better example of “please tell the jury when you stopped beating your wife” logic.
There are a few other questions that arise in this construction, the most important of which is whether or not the Campus reform the accounting of what happened is correct in the first place. Considering the fact that a high-profile incident at Boise State University of a white student ashamed and humiliated for his identity appears to have been entirely fabricated, as one independently investigating law firm found, perhaps a bit more caution is in order.
The remainder of the article attempts to offer an additional exculpation for Campus reformand is even less convincing than what came before, essentially a series of desperate “what about?” propose absurd alternative explanations to the original conclusions of the researchers.
Campus reform This is propaganda, tied to a far-right ideology that by any reasonable definition is not a bona fide interlocutor in the issues of diversity of viewpoints on campus that preoccupy Heterodox Academy.
“The HxA Way”: 1. Present your case with evidence. 2. Be intellectually charitable. 3. Be intellectually humble. 4. Be constructive and 5. Be yourself, seems incongruous with a defense of a group that wants nothing better than to destroy the academy.
Frustrated, I posted my pic on Twitter, facetiously asking “Is anyone driving at this location?”
Ultimately, the answer is no, according to Musa al-Gharbi, the organization’s former communications director (and guest blogger at Just Visiting), who claims the former president resigned over a year ago. and has not been replaced. “There is really no one in charge.”
Granted, I don’t have a dog in the fight, but that seems like a problem to me. HxA is a 501 (c) (3) organization with over two million dollars in gross revenue according to its most recent publicly available tax data. It has thousands of members and produces and promotes content and events. His Board of directors includes the organization’s co-founder, Jonathan Haidt, as well as prominent figures from venture capital, private foundations, academia and investment management.
His “Advisory Board” boasts of everyone from David Brooks to Cornel West.
A lot of intellectual and organizational firepower seems readily available, so I wonder what kept them from having an organizational leader for over a year, and whether or not that failure resulted in the publication and promotion of it. ‘an article that defends those who seek serious harm to faculty.
While no one obviously thinks that all individual members of an organization support everything that is published by that organization, in this case the essay is published under the HxA banner, which clearly implies endorsement of the views. Is this really a vision that reflects the spirit of Heterodox Academy?
Hope someone takes a look at what’s happening soon.