University Suicide Watch (1): “This No Longer Looks Like a Liberal Arts College.”

Yep—another new series heading for our periodical updates on the “Suicide of the University,” which is the title of the lecture I gave last month at Arizona State and which I will revise for publication and also post up as a Power Line podcast at some point soon. At that conference I got to meet Bret Weinstein, late of Evergreen State, whose astounding story we covered here, here, and here. I really like him, and kidded him by asking about how he is progressing in scraping the Bernie Sanders sticker off his car. (He allowed as how that’s an entirely plausible question!)

Heather Heying

Weinstein wasn’t the only victim of the leftist witch hunt at Evergreen State. His wife, Heather Heying, an award-winning professor of biology, was also forced out of her faculty position. She has posted up on Medium a copy of the email she sent to the administration and faculty last year that got her branded a racist. I reproduce the whole of it here, along with the administration invitation to “conversation” to which she was replying:

 

From: “Heying, Heather”

Subject: Public response to [interim Provost]’s invitation to “come talk…in person” if we feel threatened

Date: May 25, 2017 at 1:43:18 PM PDT

To: [all staff and faculty at Evergreen]

Dear Evergreen administration,

You have allowed a critically dangerous situation to escalate, while obscuring facts from both those inside Evergreen, and people outside of campus.

This morning, our Provost invited those who have felt threatened or in danger this week to come speak to him, or an academic dean, in person, on campus. (I include his email at the end of mine, for those who were not included.)

At nearly the same moment, Bret Weinstein was being told that he was not safe on campus, and that he needed to leave immediately. He did so. He and his students are meeting off-campus today.

On Tuesday morning, May 23, a group of 50 or so protestors showed up in Bret’s class. He tried to talk to them. His students tried to talk to them. The video, taken by one of the protestors, is widely available. In it, Bret asks for a dialectic (in which the truth is exposed), rather than a debate (in which both sides are trying to win). He is shouted down.

Later that day, at the meeting with hundreds of people on the fourth floor of the library, Bret listened while protestors spoke. He also listened while others spoke, including his own students. Those who did not agree with the new party line at Evergreen were again shouted down and, in some cases, taken aside by protestors and lectured. Bret was told, by text from his friends who were also in the room, that there was talk of not letting him leave.

Bret’s students have been followed, verbally bullied, and aggressed against.

My family has been told to lock our doors, and keep our loved ones close.

You know all of this. The broader Evergreen community does not.

Why are you putting us at risk?

Why are you obscuring the facts?

Here is one national take on what is happening at Evergreen.

Bret and I have been receiving countless communications of support and concern from students — students of color and not — who are, at best, flabbergasted. Most of them have harsher criticism of what is happening. They speak of being ashamed and embarrassed to be affiliated with a college that would allow such vilification. Remember that what Bret has been doing, all year, is objecting to authoritarian changes in the college, and asking for dialogue. The specific argument that was picked up by the CPJ [Cooper Point Journal, the student newspaper], and which is the source of much of the anger directed at him, having to do with Day of Absence, was that having one population identifying and asking another population to leave a space is not acceptable.

Surely we can all remember historical precedent that lends credence to this objection.

The college has lost its way. The tactics being used by the protestors are oppressive and rageful. They are the same ones used by those on the alt-right, those who, in part, helped bring national politics to its current state.

Using oppression and fear mongering to maintain the status quo, as has happened nationally for a long time, ought be wholly unacceptable in a democracy. Using oppression and fear mongering to fight for a reversal of that status quo ought be similarly repugnant. A reversal of fortune, in which those who were in power are powerless, and those who were powerless have all the power, ought not be the goal. But it is the stated goal of at least some of the protestors and their allies.

That is not equity.

And this no longer looks like a liberal arts college.

Sincerely, Heather Heying / Member of the Faculty


On May 25, 2017, at 8:43 AM, [Interim Provost] wrote:

Dear Faculty and Academic Staff,

As you are well aware, student protests continued Wednesday afternoon. The President, Vice-Presidents and Academic Deans met with students in the President’s office and listened to their concerns and demands. We were joined by many faculty later in the afternoon. I want to thank those faculty for joining the meeting; it helped establish a different, and in many cases, a better dialogue. The President will respond to the demands by 5:00 on Friday.

I never felt threatened or in danger but that may not have been your experience. If you have concerns, both personally and generally, about the protest and disruption please find time to come talk to me or an academic dean in person. At this time I plan to be in my office most of the day but you can contact [administrative assistant] to make an appointment.

Sincerely, Interim Provost [contact info redacted]

he/him pronouns

All correspondence is subject to State Public Records requests.

And here is one of the responses she provoked via Facebook:

Well, there’s a fine specimen of argument in higher education today. Why does Evergreen State president George Bridges still have a job? Why is is Evergreen State still open at all?

Responses

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