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U. San Diego Law Prof. Tom Smith Vindicated: Blog Criticising Chinese Government Held Protected By Academic Freedom

U. San Diego Law Prof. Tom Smith Vindicated: Blog Criticising Chinese Government Held Protected By Academic Freedom

University of San Diego Provost: “we sought to determine whether the blog post at issue was protected by our policy on academic freedom. After a thorough legal review, it was determined that the expression was protected by that policy.

San Diego Law School Professor Thomas Smith was one in a long line of right-of-center professors targeted by student crybullies demanding termination and sanctions, to which adminstrators capitulate like cowards.

In the case of Prof. Smith, he wrote a blog post on his personal blog harshly and somewhat flamboyantly criticising the Chinese government for its handling of the coronavirus. Various students and student groups maliciously claimed Smith maligned Chinese people as an ethnic group. Despite the claim being preposterous based on a plain reading of the text of the blog post, law school Dean Robert Schapiro shamefully and shamelessly issued a statement condeming Prof. Smith and labeling the blog post as bias. The University of San Diego then commenced a bias investigation.

Your can read our prior coverage at these posts:

In an unexpected development, the Provost of the University of San Diego actually did the right thing, announced that Prof. Smith’s expression was protected by academic freedom, case closed. While there was verbiage about being sensitive to others, there was no institutional condemnation of Prof. Smith of the sort that so often accompanies administrative defenses of academic freedom, like the highly personal attack on me by then Cornell Law School Dean Eduardo M. Peñalver.

Here is the text of an email sent by the Provost this morning (Pacific Time).

VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST

Statement from the Provost

Dear USD Community:

We recently received complaints relating to a post by USD Law Professor Tom Smith on his personal blog concerning the causes of COVID-19. The complaints alleged violations of various university and School of Law policies.

As a threshold matter, we sought to determine whether the blog post at issue was protected by our policy on academic freedom. After a thorough legal review, it was determined that the expression was protected by that policy.

This conclusion in no way amounts to an endorsement by the university of the opinions shared in the blog post.

Academic freedom lies at the core of the mission of the University of San Diego. At the same time, we are committed to providing an educational environment that honors the dignity of every individual. Those two commitments can and must co-exist. It is important that members of the university community exercise their freedom in a responsible fashion, attentive to the impact of their protected opinions and sensitive to all members of the community, especially those who may feel vulnerable, marginalized or fearful that they are not welcomed. Members of the university community may feel an obligation, and certainly have the freedom, to criticize opinions that they believe demean the dignity of others.

As a contemporary Catholic university, we have a responsibility to promote a safe, just and inclusive environment within the university and in the larger society. We recently announced The Horizon Project, a comprehensive five-year plan to take concrete action to build a more inclusive campus community. As part of that project, the School of Law has announced specific initiatives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the law school community. This vital work is ongoing and will remain a focus for continuing and additional action by the university and the School of Law.

Gail F. Baker
Vice President and Provost

In a normal world, this would be the end. But it’s never over. I would not be surprised if the crybullies attempt some other action.

Prof. Smith should demand and get a full apology from Dean Robert Schapiro and the student perpetrators of this crime against academic freedom.

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Comments


 
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Ben Kent | May 4, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Congrats to Prof Smith.

> But it’s a drop of water in the desert.

Free speech is under attack throughout the USA and Cancel Culture will continue to be used to extort those who the woke thought police deem to be adversaries.


 
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bear | May 4, 2021 at 5:40 pm

I clearly remember from my college days when an avowed and open communist (angela davis) was uniformly defended on 1st Amendment grounds when she was scheduled to speak at a california college. Communism is the exact opposite of every word of the Declaration, our Constitution and our way of life. Academic freedom ruled, with the full support of the academicians. Now, not so much. Private citizens face the fury and violence of the mob and their cowardly enablers in businesses everywhere, supporting the destruction of our founding…a chilling disgrace.


 
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puhiawa | May 4, 2021 at 6:18 pm

Mind you, I just got a flyer from the school requesting I hire law grads. The school needs to get off the left wing band wagon and go back to teaching black letter law and procedure. It has perhaps the most beautiful law campus in America, an excellent law review and hosts incredible public speakers. These assets need to protected by true scholastic achievement.


 
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puhiawa | May 4, 2021 at 6:21 pm

OT
Exhibit 14 to the Atrium County Michigan law suit re Dominion Voting Machines.
It appears the machines were stealing votes from Trump and Jorgensen(L) and giving them to Biden.
https://www.depernolaw.com/uploads/2/7/0/2/27029178/%5B16%5D_ex_14_lenberg_2.pdf


     
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    txvet2 in reply to puhiawa. | May 4, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Milhouse will not be happy with you.


       
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      daniel_ream in reply to txvet2. | May 4, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      Stop taking pot shots at other regulars because you can’t read law.


         
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        txvet2 in reply to daniel_ream. | May 4, 2021 at 11:39 pm

        I have you to pretend to read law, so I don’t have to. As far as taking pot shots is concerned, some regulars make a regular habit of it, to the point of calling others crazy, liars, stupid and uninformed, without, apparently, any discomfort to you.


     
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    Milhouse in reply to puhiawa. | May 6, 2021 at 1:20 am

    Bzzzt. The exhibit does not show anything of the sort. It doesn’t even make such a claim. I’ll do you the courtesy of assuming you didn’t deliberately lie this time, you just didn’t bother reading the document carefully, or else that you don’t have the background to be able to understand it.

    All it claims is that if the project files are modified so the scanners don’t know what the ballot actually looks like, e.g. if the actual printed ballot has Biden in position 1 and Trump in position 3 and you change the ballot definition file so the scanner thinks Trump is 1 and Biden is 3, then of course it will report all of Trump’s votes for Biden and all of Biden’s for Trump. That’s obvious. It offers no evidence or reason to believe that this actually happened. And it certainly doesn’t suggest that votes can just be shifted from one candidate to another.

    The fact is that only one thing went wrong in Antrim, and it had nothing to do with Dominion or its machines: There was a last minute change in some ballot designs, and the definition files needed to be updated on all scanners. The Dominion files were apparently correctly updated, which is why the hand count matched the machine count, but a local system, that collates the results from all precincts into a spreadsheet to produce unofficial county-wide results for reporting to the news, was not updated at all precincts, so the spreadsheet initially got the totals badly and obviously wrong.

    This was immediately noticed and fixed, but even if it hadn’t been the scanner tapes all had the correct numbers, as was verified by the hand count, so the official result, which comes from the tapes not from the spreadsheet, would always have been correct.


 
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Ireland | May 4, 2021 at 6:49 pm

There was a time when Communists, despite the color of their skin or shape of their eyes, were derided and driven out. So not, with the mostly communist leaning leftists in this nation can’t handle it when Communist China is ridiculed, whatever the issue. When the war breaks out, the Chinese wont’ be there to defend you, leftists. In fact, they’ll probably start the conflict.
The students who raised a stink should be suspended, or expelled for inciting.


     
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    Kepha H in reply to Ireland. | May 4, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    There is one good thing Mao Zedong did for China–he killed off a generation of Leftist intellectuals who were the vry group who made his rise to power possible..


 
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JusticeDelivered | May 4, 2021 at 8:09 pm

I hope he sues.


 
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henrybowman | May 4, 2021 at 9:01 pm

Where’s the part where all the students and other agitators who sought to get him fired are sentenced to attend mandatory “sensitivity sessions” on constitutional rights?


 
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maxmillion | May 4, 2021 at 11:05 pm

Of course they just couldn’t restrain themselves from the obligatory, “This conclusion in no way amounts to an endorsement by the university of the opinions shared in the blog post.” If they were truly being even-handed they’d have said it doesn’t amount to a refutation either. But no.


     
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    puhiawa in reply to maxmillion. | May 4, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Cowards. My undergraduate school finally realized that the only way to make this stop is discipline the students. The more you whine…the more your forfeit your tuition.

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