We profiled this case in an earlier post. It sounds like some people have had it with these ridiculous attacks on academic freedom.

The College Fix reports:

USC faces internal revolt for punishing professor who used Chinese word that sounds like n-word

Violations of academic freedom in response to politically incorrect utterances rarely draw widespread attention. If they do, it’s more likely the university will get criticized for not punishing a professor who said something in a pedagogical context that triggered a student.

Greg Patton’s removal from teaching by the University of Southern California, however, became an international incident because it was also an insult to Chinese speakers. Even worse, USC’s Marshall School of Business is now facing an internal revolt among faculty who worry they could be the next scapegoat for perceived racism…

The Marshall School’s Faculty Council surveyed 105 instructors about Dean Geoffrey Garrett’s action against Patton (above) for using a “polarizing example” of a filler word in a class on intercultural business communication.

While USC insists Patton “volunteered” to step down from the class, faculty clearly didn’t see anything voluntary about it.

The Chronicle of Higher Education obtained the Marshall School’s internal report on the incident, which says faculty broadly felt “anger, disappointment, betrayal, and outrage” in response to Patton’s punishment:

But that summary doesn’t do justice to scathing comments from the survey. They provide a portrait of a business school in which professors are now convinced that a single student complaint, even a questionable one, could upend their careers, and that the school’s leadership, as one professor put it, “doesn’t have our back.”

Individual interviews revealed that faculty felt “scared to death to teach in this environment” and “will have to walk on egg shells all the time” so as not to “be accused of being a racist, bigoted, insensitive.” One said USC’s response will “make me even more conservative and guarded than I already am.”


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