Portland professor slams university as ‘social justice factory’

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Portland professor slams university as 'social justice factory'

A Portland State University professor resigned from his position in a searing open letter Wednesday — blasting the school as a “Social Justice factory” where students are “not being taught to think.”

Peter Boghossian, who taught philosophy at PSU for the past decade, accused the university of kowtowing to woke politics.

“Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues,” Boghossian wrote in the public resignation, first published in Bari Weiss’ substack “Common Sense.”

“Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly.”

The former assistant professor of philosophy said the institution’s left-leaning identity politics has made “intellectual exploration impossible.”

“It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division,” he wrote.

When he tried to speak out against harmful “illiberalism,” Boghossian claimed he faced intense reprisal.

“The more I spoke out about these issues, the more retaliation I faced,” the philosophy professor wrote.

He alleged he was subject to harassment and false accusations for years — including finding swastikas in the bathroom with his name underneath, having a bag of feces delivered to his office door, and being spat on and threatened when walking to class.

Meanwhile, Boghossian said the university remained silent.

“When it acted, it was against me, not the perpetrators,” he wrote.

Portland State University
A Portland State University professor resigned in a searing open letter.
Portland State University

Boghossian detailed how PSU launched a Title IX investigation against him in the 2016-17 academic year — after a “white male” made “a slew of baseless accusations” against him.

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any school or other education program that receives federal money. 

“Universities can enforce ideological conformity just through the threat of these investigations,” Boghossian wrote, adding that he could not elaborate on the allegations due to confidentiality rules.

Boghossian, who said he was proud of his work at PSU, ultimately accused the university of failing in its paramount duty to foster the “freedom to question.”

“This isn’t about me. This is about the kind of institutions we want and the values we choose. Every idea that has advanced human freedom has always, and without fail, been initially condemned,” he wrote.

“As individuals, we often seem incapable of remembering this lesson, but that is exactly what our institutions are for: to remind us that the freedom to question is our fundamental right. Educational institutions should remind us that that right is also our duty.”

The philosophy professor said he felt “morally obligated” to quit, despite confessing it was “not the outcome I wanted.”

“For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?,” he wrote. 

Boghossian’s explosive resignation comes as universities and schools across the country have seen professors and teachers pushing back against woke politics in schools, in particular critical race theory. 

An English teacher resigned from a top New Jersey prep school in June, alleging the school used the controversial academic movement to create a “hostile culture of conformity and fear” — causing white and male students to believe they are “oppressors.”

In July, at least 50 CUNY professors resigned in protest from their faculty union after it passed a one-sided resolution condemning Israel for recent attacks on Palestinians and threatening to support the movement to boycott and divest from the Jewish state. 

Even the Ivy Leagues haven’t been spared. The same month, civil rights activist Cornel West announced his resignation from his post at Harvard University’s Divinity School  — accusing the institution of “spiritual rot” and describing it as in a state of “decay and decline.”

Most recently, an 88-year-old professor at the University of Georgia quit after a student refused to properly wear a mask in his psychology class, telling the college student paper “I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this Pandemic.”

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