Academics Who Opine on Controversial Subjects Have to Expect Dissent

To the Editor:

Anyone who engages in public discourse on controversial issues must be prepared to “own” their words completely. Accolades and expressions of full agreement are not the only responses you will get. And people will not always treat your words as you would like them to be treated. Hence my sympathy for professors facing backlash for social-media comments, as discussed in your valuable recent article (“Professors’ Growing Risk: Harassment for Things They Never Really Said,The Chron…

An Open Letter Regarding Rand Paul’s Teaching Appointment at GWU

Dear Dean Vinson,

I recently learned that Rand Paul, the junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky will be teaching a course on dystopian literature at George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. I’m an anthropologist at the early stages of my career, currently teaching at Georgetown and trying to figure out how to make it in academia. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a few questions about this faculty appointment so that I might make my CV line up a bit more wit…

Real Issue Around Rescinded Offers at Harvard Is Responsibility, Not Freedom

To the Editor:

Freedom vs. responsibility.

Harvard and the students both have freedoms. These freedoms are at the core of what it means to be an American, and to live life in the United States. Yet it is not these freedoms that should be at the core of the discourse surrounding this incident (“Free Speech Loses Ground as Harvard Retracts Offers to Admitted Students,The Chronicle, June 13). The concept of freedom will be defended every time and distracts from what truly needs evaluation. We’v…

Article on Evergreen State Misrepresented Professor’s Positions

To The Editor:

Your article on the recent protests at Evergreen State College (“How a Campus Fight Drove 2 Left-Leaning Professors to Fox News,The Chronicle, June 9) quotes me in a way that attributes to me positions I do not hold. The article does so by framing the entire matter in a simple but mistaken “for Bret/against Bret” binary (referring to Bret Weinstein). Here is the key paragraph:

Many people blame Mr. Weinstein for the fallout. Peter Dorman, an economics professor, told The Chronic…

An Open Letter in Support of Continuing Improved Relations With Cuba

Dear President Trump:

We write to you, as American scholars and educators, to express our concern about a possible reversal of our nation’s improving relations with Cuba, specifically in the area of travel, due to political pressure from elected officials in Florida and New Jersey. Since you ran for office on an America First platform, we wish to share with you that we vigorously oppose such a reversal as it is not in the best interests of the United States.

We represent all segments of the poli…

National Academies Report on Genetically Engineered Crops Guarded Against Bias

To the Editor:

You recently published an article titled “Under Fire, National Academies Toughen Conflict-of-Interest Policies” (The Chronicle, April 25). A premise of the article is that this toughening was triggered by claims of personal conflicts of interest “tainting” the Academies’ report on genetically engineered crops (GE crops) that we authored.

The Academies have already gone on record to dispute this false claim, but our concern is that you have specifically sown undeserved doubt about …

Submitting Hoax Papers to Journals Outside One’s Field Is Unethical

To the Editor:

The recent “conceptual penis” controversy highlights a fundamental need for all academic publishing (“Hoax Article in Social-Science Journal Gets a Rise Out of Some Scholars,The Chronicle, May 20).  All professional fields assume that their members adhere to certain basic ethical codes; therefore it is distressing when researchers submit hoax papers to journals in fields outside their own. The most famous case, in Social Text, highlighted a fundamental conceptual and semantic di…

At Northwestern, Not Just Adjuncts Voted to Unionize

To the Editor:

The headline of your story, “Adjuncts at Northwestern U. Vote to Unionize,” is incorrect in its description of the recent vote in the unionization effort at Northwestern University (The Chronicle, May 31). Non-tenure-track faculty at Northwestern fall into two categories: the first is Continuing Teaching Track Faculty while the second is Adjuncts. Continuing Teaching Track Faculty have been very divided in this union drive for many reasons, not least of which is that they are enti…

Community Colleges Offer Lessons in Diversifying the Presidency

To the Editor:

The Aspen Institute’s goals are laudable and community colleges certainly have much work to do to achieve gender and racial equity in the presidency — but it seems to me the Aspen Institute might focus as well on the four-year colleges and universities, whose achievements toward gender and racial equity in the presidency are far more sparse than that of community colleges (“What Will It Take to Change the Presidency?,” The Chronicle, May 21).

Also missing from this article is a se…

Treating ‘Menstrual Equity’ as Significant Fuels Public Contempt for Academe

To the Editor:

Both the so-called campus activists who expend their energies to achieve “menstrual equity” by lobbying for tampons in men’s bathrooms on university campuses, as well as the publication that finds this to be an accurate representation of campus life, declare to the world that American students, and by association the academics who influence them, are infatuated with absurdities and far-removed from reality (“Tampons in Men’s Rooms? It’s Just a Small Part of ‘Menstrual Equity…