Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Following up on my previous post, State Auditor Tries To Fire Tenured Professor Who Participated In #ScholarStrike:
Chronicle of Higher Education, Faculty Members Joined a Day of Action to Protest Racial Inequality. Now 2 Are in Hot Water.:
Two tenured professors at different universities are in hot water after participating in the Scholar Strike, a national action meant to call awareness to police brutality against Black people.
At the University of Mississippi, the state auditor, Shad White, told the university to pursue terminating James M. Thomas after the associate professor of sociology engaged, according to White, in an illegal work stoppage. White’s targeting of Thomas — first reported by the Clarion Ledger — has been criticized by other scholars as intimidation and an attempt to score political points in a red state. (White did not respond to a request for comment but said on Twitter that people want him to “give this professor a pass” because they agree with the professor’s politics. “No,” he concluded.)
And at Texas A&M University, the dean reported Wendy Leo Moore, an associate professor of sociology, to the provost after Moore indicated she would participate in a work stoppage. For several days, Moore told The Chronicle, she thought she was going to lose her job.
Both Moore and Thomas say their decisions were well within their rights under academic freedom, and believe they shouldn’t face professional consequences for what were pedagogical decisions. And they fear the moves will intimidate their colleagues, including those who don’t have the security of tenure.
Two scholars, Kevin Gannon and Anthea Butler, came up with the Scholar Strike in the wake of this summer’s protests against racism and police brutality.
Inside Higher Ed, Professor Suspended for Scholar Strike Participation