The Corner

Law & the Courts

A Conservative Professor Sues over Retaliation against Him

The level of intolerance in American higher education keeps rising. “Progressives” have long been prickly about criticism of their ideas and have in recent years become increasingly bold in targeting anyone who disagrees. They praised freedom of speech and dissent when it served their purposes, but now that they have power, they’re eager to silence those whom they dislike.

A professor in the Education Department at North Carolina State has recently filed suit against the school for the way it has retaliated against him for his statements against the obsession with “social justice” he finds at the university. In today’s Martin Center piece, Shannon Watkins interviews the prof (Stephen Porter) and his attorney (Samantha Harris) about the case.

Porter, for example, questioned why the end-of-course evaluation should have to include a question about the raising of “diversity issues” in the course. Porter is so old-fashioned that he just thinks professors should stick to the substance of courses and not mess them up with irrelevant “diversity issues.”

Because he couldn’t resist speaking and blogging to express his opposition to allowing the department to become saturated with “wokeness,” Porter is now a target of vindictive lefties, who are trying to force him out through a “death by a thousand cuts” strategy.

Said Porter, “They know they can’t fire me outright because I have tenure. I have an excellent record. I have excellent teaching evaluations. I’ve got a good strong research record, I do lots of service. My annual evaluations have been fine. Up to now, my post-tenure review has been fine. Instead, it’s sort of like this death by a thousand cuts, they are trying to seek many different ways to make my life as miserable as possible.”

With legal representation from FIRE, Porter has a good chance at getting NC State to cease its tormenting of him.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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