A University of Wisconsin-Madison sociology professor is facing scrutiny because earlier this summer she randomly stalked and harassed incoming freshman students at the taxpayer-funded school.
The professor, Sara Goldrick-Rab, is the same Wisconsin faculty member who used her Twitter account this month to explain how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker resembles Adolf Hitler. (RELATED: Wisconsin Prof: ‘Terrifying’ ‘Similarities’ Between Scott Walker And HITLER)
Goldrick-Rab discussed her belief about the “terrifying” “similarities” between Hitler and Walker on July 1:
A few weeks earlier, Goldrick-Rab decided it would be a good idea to troll recently-graduated high school students preparing to enroll at the flagship school.
Saturday, June 6 was a banner day for her innovative, provocative tweeting plan.
The Daily Caller obtained screenshots of at least some of Goldrick-Rab’s tweets and subsequent replies from recipients. The text is chopped up and partially grayed out because the students — barely out of high school — are understandably not interested in publicly tussling with a stalker-professor roughly twice their ages.
In the first exchange, Goldrick-Rab randomly sends teenagers she does not know a link to an opinion piece from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Wisconsin’s battle over tenure guarantees and education spending.
“If this goes through, we are all leaving,” Goldrick-Rab threatens. “No joke.”
Goldrick-Rab’s use of the word “this” presumably refers to a new Wisconsin law that ends tenure by statute at public universities. Hereafter, each school’s board of regents will decide whether professors have tenure. Wisconsin had been America’s only state to provide statute-protected tenure. (RELATED: Walker Wins: New Budget Will Repeal University Tenure)
Goldrick-Rab suggested that “many” incoming freshmen at Wisconsin-Madison are “very concerned” that she could no longer automatically receive tenure protections under the force of state law.
Eventually, at least one tweet recipient responded to Goldrick-Rab by saying “no one cares sara.”
The University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. recipient responded mockingly.
“Who are you lol” another student also replied.
On Thursday, Goldrick-Rab admitted that she had combed through Twitter specifically looking for teenagers who would soon enroll at Wisconsin — so she could hound them.
The professor defended her random tweets to people fresh out of high school she does not know.
“I was very frustrated with the university not being forthcoming,” Goldrick-Rab told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Nobody’s communicating with them. So I looked for prospective students on Twitter and sent them information.”
“They need to know what’s going on,” the professor who told high schoolers “we are all leaving” explained. “I’m not trying to say to them: ‘Don’t come here.'”
One person Goldrick-Rab found when she searched Twitter for teenagers had posted a photograph of himself and friends in caps and gowns at a high school graduation. The Twitter user was proudly making a “W” with his hands in the photo.
“On (to) Wisconsin!” the tweet read. The tweet also said @UWMadison and #FutureBadgers.
“Neither he nor any of his friends had ever had any contact with this professor before and had no clue who she was,” a Wisconsin College Republicans representative told The Daily Caller.
“We respect her ability to state her opinions, but deliberately going out of her way to find these students crosses some lines.”
The Office of the Secretary of the Faculty at Wisconsin-Madison released a statement essentially agreeing with the College Republicans.
“As faculty members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support free speech and diversity of opinion, as has been our tradition. Such freedom requires responsible behavior and, in this respect, we are deeply dismayed with the actions Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab has taken toward students and faculty on Twitter in recent weeks to discourage them from coming here,” the statement reads.
“While claiming to stand for academic freedom, she has in fact damaged that principle and our institution with inaccurate statements and misrepresentations.”
Goldrick-Rab is very much up in arms over the change to tenure rules.
On July 12, she suggested that Walker had personally “robbed” her of her tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In June, she told state lawmakers in a finance committee meeting she would find a new job if Wisconsin passed a law making tenure non-statutory.
Additionally, she has blamed Walker for forcing her children “out of their home state” and taking “mom’s job” even though she still appears to have a job and to live wholly unencumbered in Wisconsin.
In other tweets, the professor has called Jimmy Carter and “extraordinary national treasure” and complained that she is “very disappointed” that the American Federation of Teachers has endorsed Hillary Clinton when Bernie Sanders “is the far better candidate.”
Her Facebook page features a fascinating montage of imagery. There is an image of members of the Nation of Islam along with members of the Bloods and Crips gangs in Baltimore. There is a group of protestors standing with a “Black Lives Matter” banner unfurled. And there is a high-end purses for sale (“Just snagged the blue one!”).