Education

Letter Urging College To Rescind Job Offer To White Prof Later Deleted

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A letter requesting that a university’s sociology department rescind an offer to hire a professor because she was white was deleted sometime between Monday evening and the early morning hours Tuesday.

Nearly 130 “Sociology students, alumni, and allies” of Pomona College in California signed the letter. They argued that since 56.7 percent of sociology students at the school are black, hiring Alice Goffman, who is white, represents “anti-blackness,” reports Campus Reform.

“The Sociology Department at Pomona College has not consistently had enough full-time faculty members of color to support its marginalized students,” assert the signatories. “The vast majority of Sociology majors are students of color (and most are women of color), but the faculty are not at all representative of their students’ diversity.”

The authors insist that Pomona’s choice to hire Goffman is an “egregious” example of “anti-blackness” and counterintuitive to “holding institutions of higher education accountable for the violence they enact on marginalized groups.”

The authors of the letter also take issue with Goffman’s book, On The Run, which documents policing and incarceration in black communities. The book has drawn criticism from journalists and scholars such as Steven Lubet, a Northwestern University law professor. Lubet questions Goffman’s reliability — particularly Goffman’s decision to destroy notes containing information that could identify the subjects of her book.

“[Goffman’s] methods have endangered her research participants, encouraged the hyper-policing of Black communities, and continue to perpetuate anti-Blackness,” the authors of the Pomona letter write.

“We follow a rigorous process when hiring faculty,” said Pomona’s News Director Mark Kendall. “We are pleased that this process resulted in an offer and an acceptance, and we look forward to her joining our vibrant academic community in the fall as a visiting professor.”

But as of Tuesday morning, the letter has been deleted.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Kendall, as well as Sheri Sardinas, Pomona Sociology’s academic coordinator, to inquire about the letter’s deletion, but received no comment in time for publication.

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