Professor Resigns In Open Letter Because His College Transformed ‘Into A Social Justice Factory’


Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A Portland State University professor resigned Wednesday after the university made “intellectual exploration impossible” and turned “into a Social Justice factory.”

Philosophy Assistant Professor Peter Boghossian says he taught at the university for the past decade, teaching critical thinking, ethics and the Socratic method. Boghossian alleges the school has stifled thought diversity despite his various attempts to give his students a vast range of different viewpoints.

“I never once believed – nor do I now – that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion,” his resignation letter reads. “Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions.”

“But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of 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.”

Boghossian said students “are not being taught to think” but “are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues.”

The former professor alleges the faculty “abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions.”

Boghossian said anyone who questioned “approved narratives” were dismissed and professors who assigned texts written by European males were “accused of bigotry.” (RELATED: A Parent-Led Rebellion Against Critical Race Theory Is Storming School Boards Across The Country)

He said a group of students, also worried about the rise in thought intolerance, approached him about the shift within the school, prompting Boghossian to read into “primary source material produced by critical theorists” to try and understand this new thought ideology. Boghossian, however, says as he spoke out about the issues he was witnessing from teaching subjects from a critical lens, he was retaliated against.

Boghossian alleges one white male student lodged a Title IX complaint against him. The accuser “made a slew of baseless accusations” against Boghossian, he said, with the investigation determining there was not much evidence to prove Boghossian violated the school’s discrimination policy.

To test out his theory that the “corrupted bodies of scholarship were responsible for justifying radical departures from the traditioinal role of liberal arts schools,” Boghossian published a peer review paper arguing penises were the product of the human mind and were responsible for climate change. He then used the paper to “shed light on the flaws of the peer-review and academic publishing systems” that he believe has led to the rigid thought orthodoxy.

Swastikas soon appeared in the bathroom with his name and on his office door, he alleged. Passerby’s spit on him as he walked to class while colleagues allegedly told students to avoid his class, he claimed. Others would purposefully disrupt his lectures and guest speakers. Yet, Boghossian claims no one was held responsible and instead he was the one disciplined and further investigated.

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

“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 the right is also our duty.”

Portland State University said in a statement to the Daily Caller that the schoool “has always been and will continue to be a welcoming home for free speech and academic freedom.”

“We believe that those practices are not in conflict with our core institutional values of student success; racial justice and equity; and proactive engagement with our community.”

The school did not provide a comment on Boghossian’s resignation letter.

Boghossian has been outspoken against the university previously, lambasting the school’s president in a series of social media posts in January.

Portland State University President Stephen Percy sent a letter to the university community in January that his “highest priority is sustaining and amplifying our commitment to social justice.”

Boghossian then questioned why Percy, a white male, doesn’t “resign and offer [his] position to a black person.”

He also questioned why the school wasn’t prioritizing other issues such as the budget deficits and lack of faculty-led research.