Linfield University professor concerned about ‘culture of fear’

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A partial view of an academic building is framed by leafy oak trees.

Pioneer Hall is seen through the signature oak trees at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Pioneer Hall is the oldest building on the Linfield campus, constructed in 1881.

Bradley W. Parks / OPB

Earlier this year, Daniel Pollack-Pelzner was fired from his job as a tenured professor at Linfield University after he spoke out about sexual harassment allegations against university trustees. Pollack-Pelzner is now suing Linfield. Two professors also recently filed suits against Pacific University saying they were wrongfully forced out of their jobs. All of this comes at the same time as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was initially denied tenure at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because a major donor raised concerns about The New York Times’s “1619 Project,” which Hannah-Jones led.

Linfield University professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt says all of this amounts to the “corporatization” of universities and that one of the goals is “to attack and even destroy tenure.” Dutt-Ballerstadt wrote about all of this for “Inside Higher Ed.” She joins us to discuss her recent piece.

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