Report states that Linfield University violated Jewish professor’s academic freedom after he was fired after accusing University President of antisemitism
It has been reported that an Oregon university that fired a Jewish professor after he accused its president of making antisemitic remarks violated the professor’s academic freedom.
Linfield University in McMinnville, 38 miles south of Portland, fired English professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner in 2021 after he accused president Miles K. Davis of making comments about the supposed size of Jewish noses and jokes about sending Jews to gas chambers. Prof Pollack-Pelzner also suggested that the university had covered up reports of swastika graffiti and other instances of hate speech, as well as sexual assault allegations.
Prof Pollack-Pelzner also recalls not only that President Davis withheld his reports, fearing that they would bring the University into disrepute and accusing Prof Pollack-Pelzner of “harbouring a secret agenda to grab power”, but that the President warned of “disloyalty from within” in a meeting. Prof Pollack-Pelzner also claims that President Davis said that “people like him were destroying Linfield University from within”.
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has now decided that Linfield violated Prof Pollack-Pelzner’s academic freedom when they fired him, stating that the University “contributed to a culture of abuse” in the way it treated the professor.
The AAUP report holds that Linfield forced Prof Pollack-Pelzner out of his job and ensured he was unable to use his e-mail account without holding an initial disciplinary hearing (a requirement for charges against a tenured professor).
Linfield University itself did not take part in the AAUP investigation, and university spokespeople indicated in their interactions with faculty and local media that they did not accept the report’s allegations and were ready to fight them in court.
Prof Pollack-Pelzner is now reportedly a visiting scholar at Portland State University.
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