Professor Risks Job to Preserve Liberal Arts Traditions

Melina Wisecup
By Melina Wisecup
August 22USshare

Political science professor Jeffrey Poelvoorde challenged his liberal arts college after they mandated that all staff members complete diversity, bias, and inclusion training.

“It’s frankly the corruption of the academic world and the academic world moving away from it’s core values,” Poelvoorde, associate professor of politics at Converse College in South Carolina, told NTD.

He faced losing his job for refusing to take the training, but said it’s worth it to preserve the traditions of the liberal arts. He said he’s received thousands of letters of encouragement from philanthropists and professors from Princeton University. Some of whom have started a fund to pay for his attorney and two years-worth of his salary if he did lose his job.

“The assumption is, if you disagree with me there must be something wrong with you and ill fix you by imposing therapy. Because the administration was not asking me to sit down and enter a dialogue about race, they were ordering me and my colleagues to report for re-education,” Poelvoorde explained.

He said that the very act of denying the core values of a traditional liberal arts education is denying his own moral code. “You have to believe there is a right and wrong and you have to put your self on the side of right, Poelvoorde says. “When you abandon those principles, your human life means nothing.”

In the end, he didn’t lose his job, and didn’t have to take the training that he says propels ideological conformity. His message is that when the leaders abandon core values, it’s time to stand up.