Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

WSJ Op-Ed: DEI Brings Kafka To My Law School

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed:  DEI Brings Kafka to My Law School, by Scott Gerber (Ohio Northern):

Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” tells the story of Josef K., a man arrested, prosecuted and killed by an inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. I’m Josef K.

Around 1 p.m. on Friday, April 14, Ohio Northern University campus security officers entered my classroom with my students present and escorted me to the dean’s office. Armed town police followed me down the hall. My students appeared shocked and frightened. I know I was. I was immediately barred from teaching, banished from campus, and told that if I didn’t sign a separation agreement and release of claims by April 21, ONU would commence dismissal proceedings against me. The grounds: “Collegiality.” The specifics: None.

Josef K. never learns what he’s alleged to have done wrong. The offenses I’ve allegedly committed haven’t been revealed to me, either. But I have an educated guess.

Like many universities, ONU is aggressively pursuing “diversity, equity and inclusion” initiatives. I have objected publicly as vice chairman of the University Council, an elected faculty governance body, and in newspaper op-eds and on television, to DEI efforts that don’t include viewpoint diversity and would lead to illegal discrimination in employment and admissions. The same week I was led out of my classroom by police and campus security, I published an op-ed defending Justice Clarence Thomas’s right to have friends—even rich ones. ...

[T]his semester, for no apparent reason, ONU launched an “investigation” into me, without saying what it was about. My lawyers and I asked for specifics multiple times. ONU refused to provide them. Now, rather than level with me, ONU is demanding that I gamble the remainder of my career at a table where the administration holds all the cards. With my sudden free time, I rack my brain to think of rules I might have broken. ... [A]s I learned as I was marched out of my classroom by men in uniform, dissenting from DEI can turn anyone into Josef K.

FIRE, Professor Suspended For Reasons Unknown — Even to Him

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