A CMU professor fired: a university dumps a good professor rather than appearing “not awake”


The lack of a backbone of America’s higher education leaders is staggering. They are so afraid of putting themselves on the wrong side of the aggressive leftists on campus that they will not stand up for the good faculty members who come under attack for offending a social justice warrior.

In today’s Martin Center article, FIRE’s Giovanni Gravano talks about a case at Central Michigan University (CMU). A journalism professor, Timothy Boudreau, citing court documents, uttered the “n-word.” This was enough for a student to file a complaint against him.

How did the CMU administration react? By telling the student to behave like an adult rather than a whiny child? Of course not.

Gravano writes: “After class that day on June 22, 2020, a nine-minute video was posted by one of his students, calling Boudreau ‘racist’ and criticizing his choice to quote the insult in class. As is often the case on social media, a single post criticizing a professor’s speech or the content of a course quickly became a movement amplified to have him punished or fired.

Once the dust settled, Boudreau was forced into retirement, agreeing to a small school regulation. The other CMU teachers will no doubt have learned to avoid even quoting the forbidden word, but also to worry about anything that might “trigger” a resentful student.

Gravano concludes: “And while universities continue to fail to protect professors’ words, students suffer because good professors refuse to return to class. It is a failure of educational institutions that students miss the opportunity to learn how to properly manage differences or study the breadth of their respective subject matter.

George Leef is the Editorial Content Director of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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