Inside Higher Ed, When Students Want to Review a Tenured Professor:
A group of student activists at Sarah Lawrence College want the tenure of a conservative professor of political science reviewed, and they want to do the reviewing.
The professor, Samuel Abrams, says the college should be doing more to defend him and, more generally, academic freedom and the “viewpoint diversity” that he advocates.
Abrams — who has identified himself as an anti-Trump, moderate conservative — has always been a political outlier within the overwhelmingly liberal college. But things have been especially tense for him since he wrote an New York Times op-ed in October [Think Professors Are Liberal? Try School Administrators], saying that student affairs administrators are even more liberal than faculty members. ...
[A] student group called the Diaspora Coalition occupied a campus building and published a list of demands in the students newspaper, The Phoenix. Many of the demands echo those made by other student groups elsewhere during campus protests about diversity: more educational and extracurricular support for first-generation and low-income students, scholarships for students of color, the hiring of more minority faculty members, and more classes with an intersectional approach.
But one demand was more unusual. Referencing Abrams’s Times October op-ed, the group demanded that “Abrams’s position at the college be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color.”
In addition, they said, the college “must issue a statement condemning the harm that Abrams has caused to the college community, specifically queer, black and female students, whilst apologizing for its refusal to protect marginalized students wounded by his op-ed and the ignorant dialogue that followed.”
Abrams must also issue a public apology to the “broader [college] community and cease to target black people, queer people and women,” the coalition said.
While some professors consistently draw the ire of students, it’s highly unusual for students to request -- or in this case demand -- that they review the tenure of any professor, tenure track or tenured.