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    VP for Research at Michigan State U. Forced to Resign After Blog Posts Deemed ‘Racist’

    VP for Research at Michigan State U. Forced to Resign After Blog Posts Deemed ‘Racist’

    “The Twitter mobs want to suppress scientific work that they find objectionable. What is really at stake: academic freedom, open discussion of important ideas, scientific inquiry. All are imperiled and all must be defended”

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    Dr. Stephen Hsu is a professor of theoretical physics at Michigan State University, where he also served as the vice president for research and innovation. He is now one of the latest casualties of the manic cancel culture currently gripping academia.

    He is still on the school faculty as an educator, but recently resigned from his VP position when the mob declared him racist and sexist.

    The charge against Hsu was led by the grad student employee union.

    The Lansing State Journal reports:

    MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. in a press release Friday announced Hsu’s resignation from the position while confirming he will return as a tenured faculty member. The announcement comes after the Graduate Employees Union called for MSU to remove Hsu after statements he made about work by other researchers on intelligence and genetics and prior comments he made which the union members consider sexist and racist…

    Hsu refuted the claims of racism and sexism on his blog, “Information Processing.”

    “The attacks attempt to depict me as a racist and sexist, using short video clips out of context, and also by misrepresenting the content of some of my blog posts. A cursory inspection reveals bad faith in their presentation,” Hsu posted on June 12. “The accusations are entirely false — I am neither racist or sexist.”

    “The Twitter mobs want to suppress scientific work that they find objectionable. What is really at stake: academic freedom, open discussion of important ideas, scientific inquiry. All are imperiled and all must be defended,” he added.

    See if you can spot the key words in this part of the report:

    The union petitioned and called for Hsu’s removal on June 11. Hsu “cannot uphold our university mission or our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the union wrote in an open letter to the university.

    In other words, the people committed to diversity and inclusion get to decide who is included. It’s Orwellian.

    Supporters of Hsu appealed to MSU President Samuel L. Stanley with a petition of their own:

    Dear President Samuel L. Stanley:

    We, the undersigned, write out of concern with the risk of principles of academic freedom, scientific integrity, and fair play currently posed at Michigan State University (MSU) because of baseless allegations against a respected colleague, Dr. Stephen Hsu, VP for Research and Innovation.

    The charges of racism and sexism against Dr. Hsu are unequivocally false and the purported evidence supporting these charges ranges from innuendo and rumor to outright lies. (See attached letters for details.) We highlight that there is zero concrete evidence that Hsu has performed his duties as VP in an unfair or biased manner. Therefore, removing Hsu from his post as VP would be to capitulate to rumor and character assassination.

    President Stanley, you have the unique opportunity to show the leadership required to guide this great institution of higher learning through a difficult situation during this pivotal moment in history. The power is in your hands to reaffirm free inquiry and free expression as the core values of the academic institutions and show how they align with the other values to which we are all committed and have spent time and energy promoting. The voices demanding Hsu’s removal are exactly wrong in pitting diversity and inclusion against free inquiry and freedom of speech. Instead, true diversity flourishes best under conditions of free inquiry, because such a philosophy demands that everyone have a seat at the table and that views be evaluated on the basis of cogency of the supporting reasoning and strength and internal consistency of the accumulated evidence rather than the identity, power, number, or vociferousness of the people expressing them. Free inquiry is the most democratic and most inclusive method of engaging with the world.

    Hsu posted his resignation letter on his blog:

    President Stanley asked me this afternoon for my resignation. I do not agree with his decision, as serious issues of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Inquiry are at stake. I fear for the reputation of Michigan State University.

    However, as I serve at the pleasure of the President, I have agreed to resign. I look forward to rejoining the ranks of the faculty here.

    It has been a great honor working with colleagues in the administration at MSU through some rather tumultuous times.

    To my team in SVPRI, we can be proud of what we accomplished for this university in the last 8 years. It is a much better university than the one I joined in 2012.

    I want to thank all the individuals who signed our petition and who submitted letters of support. The fight to defend Academic Freedom on campus is only beginning.

    We are witnessing the American version of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

    Featured image via YouTube.

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    Comments



     
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    BillyHW | June 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    You guys chose Fagademia.


     
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    CapeBuffalo | June 22, 2020 at 5:08 am

    When does the real pushback begin??

    Write all you want about the Lefts origins, methods, atrocities und so weiter, when does the action begin? What is the action? All we have is verbal reaction. People are backing down and surrendering to the Left because they don’t have any visible or vocal support..
    “Cancel Culture “ is too polite a term for the annihilation of a persons career, psyche, life. It can’t be countered by reasoned arguments or political position, it requires organization and physical presence. At this point it is going to require physical pushback as well

    Dedicated to Dr. Bill Wattenburg and pushback.com.


     
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    harleycowboy | June 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

    He’s a minority so he can’t be racist.


     
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    GatorGuy | June 22, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Maybe an inquiry into some possibly material, ie, financial, entrepreneurial, etc, or substantive philosophical, or both — or other significant matters — between Professor Hsu and President Stanley might be helpful.

    Much of the rhetoric flying around the last few days might just be smokescreen, even decoy, so that the actual substance of trouble, maybe even involving MSU, itself — a real hotbed of institutional trouble recently — isn’t searched and identified. (Is there a Board connection, maybe?)

    It just all sounds so thin and tenuous to my ears. It’s possible we’re being misled down a rabbit hole. Or maybe not; hard to say.

    In any case, Stanley (who’d committed some noteworthy administrative missteps at his prior presidency at SUNY Stony Brook), might very well have wussed on this, whether or not he already whiffed at a solid chance to request, accept, and evaluate, maybe with the advice and counsel of a balanced commission weighing in considerably, the kind of scrutiny perfectly detailed in the faculty support letter for Professor Hsu, a Petition of President Stanley, a choice excerpt of which is restated here, from above, for your convenience:

    ” . . . President Stanley, you have the unique opportunity to show the leadership required to guide this great institution of higher learning through a difficult situation during this pivotal moment in history. The power is in your hands to reaffirm free inquiry and free expression as the core values of the academic institutions and show how they align with the other values to which we are all committed and have spent time and energy promoting. The voices demanding Hsu’s removal are exactly wrong in pitting diversity and inclusion against free inquiry and freedom of speech. Instead, true diversity flourishes best under conditions of free inquiry, because such a philosophy demands that everyone have a seat at the table and that views be evaluated on the basis of cogency of the supporting reasoning and strength and internal consistency of the accumulated evidence rather than the identity, power, number, or vociferousness of the people expressing them. Free inquiry is the most democratic and most inclusive method of engaging with the world.”

    Mike, the present LI article’s author, has also provided above a link to the complete letter of support, the Petition.

    Note well the breadth and extent of the character and professional support Professor Hsu’s received; the hundreds of signatories shown might even be shortened for practical purposes.

    Gauging by the intensity and nature of this support, I think we’ve reached a major crossroad in resisting the present American Cultural Revolution, a major existential crises in its almost 244-year history.

    It appears, finally, that the cavalry, ie, the big pushback, has finally arrived.

    If so, President Stanley, a well-paid, brilliant, and capable researcher, stands in history’s crosshairs as a pivotal figure — in my estimation — several, but not very many levels below those who questioned Galileo, and left him to rot. Pontius Pilate is a bit more distant, but spiritually for many, not off this critical grid.

    In the balance, it seems to me, is the status of our national integrity, its character, unity and wholeness, and plenty more, but nothing less.

    Yes, I view free thought as important to our Western culture as whether or not we live in a helio- or geocentric system of celestial bodies. It’s crucial that we get this moment right, and that the key players in this scene are properly identified and understood.


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