The saga of former Johns Hopkins professor Daniel Povey is a fascinating glimpse into the world of campus protest culture and what can happen to those who stand up to it.

We first noted this story in a recent quick take, but it’s a much bigger story now.

I covered much of this in an article I wrote for the Washington Free Beacon:

Johns Hopkins University Fires Professor Who Defied Campus Protesters

Johns Hopkins University has fired Daniel Povey, an associate professor of speech and language processing, who used bolt cutters to gain entry to an administration building on campus that was taken over by student protesters who had chained the doors shut.

The university, located in Baltimore, has been attempting to create a private, armed campus police force to deal with crimes on and around campus for months. In April, activists from SAPP (Students Against Private Police), took over Garland Hall, the main administration building. Some chained themselves to railings and fixtures while others chained the building’s doors…

“I was the main person in charge of managing the servers in the basement of that building, which are used by me and a large group of researchers in CLSP [Center for Language and Speech Processing],” Povey told the Washington Free Beacon.

“That morning I was told the situation could last for weeks, and during that time we would have no physical access to the building. Servers were already starting to crash, and I felt it would not be long before our whole research infrastructure was unavailable.”…

Povey was fired by Johns Hopkins on August 8, following an investigation. A letter from Andrew S. Douglas, vice dean for faculty, cites complaints that Povey’s conduct “was motivated by racially discriminatory animus and created a hostile environment.” A few paragraphs later, it states in bold letters: “We are hereby terminating your appointment with the university.”

Read Povey’s full account of what happened at Johns Hopkins.

This story seemed to be over when Povey supposedly accepted a job working in the field of speech recognition for Facebook in their Seattle offices.

CNBC reported last week:

Facebook has hired the professor who Johns Hopkins fired after he stormed a building occupied by protesters

Facebook confirmed on Monday that it has hired a speech recognition researcher who was fired this month from Johns Hopkins University after the university said he put students in danger while trying to enter a building occupied by protesters.

A spokesman for the company told CNBC that it has hired Daniel Povey, who had been a research professor at Johns Hopkins since 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Povey was a researcher at Microsoft as well as IBM.

Now CNBC is reporting that Povey has declined Facebook’s job offer:

Fired Johns Hopkins professor won’t work for Facebook after all

Povey was slated to start working on speech recognition for Facebook out of the company’s Seattle office next Monday. But on Thursday, Facebook placed conditions on the hire that Povey didn’t accept.

Specifically, Facebook told him that he could work as a contractor for six weeks without permission to come onto Facebook’s property, Povey wrote in a note on his website. A full-time offer would be contingent on the results of a Facebook “investigation into what happened,” Povey wrote.

“I declined that offer,” Povey wrote in a note on his website…

In an email to Povey that Facebook shared with CNBC, the company explained it would normally never hire a person who was fired from his last job over safety issues. However, Povey had been working as a contractor for the company already, so it decided to give him a chance to continue his contract while the company investigated.

Povey is reportedly going to seek work with a startup company or a foreign outfit.

I wish him luck and congratulate him for standing up to a campus mob.


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