Would you blame any professor for standing up to this? It’s insulting. It’s like being told you need training to think the right way.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

‘Going to the Mat’ Over Diversity Training

An associate professor of politics at Converse College in South Carolina says he’s facing possible termination for publicly refusing to complete newly mandated diversity and antibias training.

“My department chairman has informed me that the administration intends to dismiss me for insubordination and other reasons,” the professor, Jeffrey Poelvoorde, said via email. “I’m going to the mat on this one.”

Poelvoorde, who denied an interview request, citing his attorney’s guidance, said that Converse recently told employees to complete mandatory diversity and bias training, in response to the murder of George Floyd by police and other events.

Instead of watching the two training modules, Poelvoorde wrote an open letter to the college explaining his intention to defy the new requirement. He also expressed outrage that the college’s previous public statements condemning Floyd’s murder did not also condemn protests that turned violent. In particular, Poelvoorde mentioned David Dorn, the late Black retired police officer who was killed while providing security to a store in St. Louis in June.

“Our leaders profess that ‘Black Lives Matter,’” Poelvoorde wrote in his letter. “But is it ALL Black Lives or only SOME Black Lives that matter to them? Perhaps they are only concerned about the loss of the Black Lives that confirms their political narrative and supports their progressive ideology.”

Coercive Imposition

Of the training mandate, Poelvoorde said this: “Am I and are my colleagues at Converse in need of additional training in order to overcome unconscious bias and prejudice? Perhaps.” The “quarrel,” he said, “is not so much with the content of the materials the administration would impose upon us but rather the coercive imposition itself.”


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