How to Respond to Outrageous Exhibitions of Overblown Outrage

ACADEME BLOG

John K. Wilson has very succinctly highlighted the hullabaloo surrounding an innocuous e-mail by Rachel Slocum, a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, which Chancellor Joe Gow has helped to escalate into a political controversy provoking all sorts of partisan responses from places well beyond the institution.

I think that it is very important for anyone who has been forming opinions at second- or third-hand to hear from Rachel Slocum herself. In the following “open letter” to the Chancellor and the campus community, she demonstrates a remarkably temperate tone in response to what must seem an extremely and even absurdly unsettling chapter in her professional life. Anyone who reads this “open letter” and comes away thinking that this is a professor intent on the political indoctrination of her students has been rendered tone deaf by his or her own extremist ideology.

In an earlier post to…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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