Are Universities Ethically Obligated To Tolerate Professors Who Embarrass Them By Saying Idiotic And Offensive Things?

Apparently the answer to the above is “Yes.”



If the university is a state school, then for it to fire a professor who makes ridiculous, foolish or hateful statements that make people wonder why they should ever entrust the minds of their tender charges into an institution that would knowingly hire cretins and jackasses to pollute student RNA, then this is probably a First Amendment violation, since it amounts to the government punishing speech and chilling free expression. If, on the other hand, the university involved is not a state school, then to send a professor packing because he or she has rammed his or her foot down his or her throat up to the knee is a violation of the crucial principle of academic freedom, which is, in brief, that to encourage the free discussion of ideas on a college campus, education being the purpose of the institution, literally no idea, point of view or position should be blocked or chilled by substantive negative action.

Three cases of recent vintage illustrate the university’s plight: Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Week: Prof. David Guth

Guth Tweet

With this brain-jarring twitter offal from University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth—and if you marvel at the abysmal quality of today’s journalists, there’s a big clue right there—Ethics Alarms launches a new category, the Unethical Tweet of the Week. Clearly, Twitter has a magic ability to make even reasonable public figures and professionals engage in irresponsible, hateful and idiotic discourse, though I seriously doubt that this particular tweet’s author needed much of a shove.

What’s the matter with the tweet? Well, how long have you got? Let’s see: Continue reading