Portland State professor resigns, says university became 'Social Justice factory'

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Portland State University professor Peter Boghossian has resigned in an open letter, which accuses the administration of fostering an environment hostile to intellectual inquiry and dissent.

Boghossian, a philosophy professor and well-known critic of “woke” ideologies, said Wednesday that the university had created a “social justice factory” where students were taught “to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues.”

“I never once believed —  nor do I now —  that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion,” Boghossian wrote to Provost Susan Jeffords.

“Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions. This is why I became a teacher and why I love teaching. But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of intellectual exploration impossible. It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division,” he added.

“Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly.”

The university did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Fox News previously reported on how Portland State professor Ethan Johnson said slavery was “still here,” among other controversial statements. 

At the time, the university told Fox News it was committed to academic freedom. 

“Portland State University is committed to academic freedom and free speech,” a university statement read.

“We respect and support the right of faculty, staff and students to share their views on any platform they choose.” 

Along with Boghossian, other education professionals have started speaking out against what they see as inappropriate attempts to inject ideology into institutions. 

Boghossian’s letter alleged that he had been the subject of harassment and false accusations after speaking out about issues with the university’s promotion of critical race theory.

He concluded by arguing that Portland State had failed in reminding people that the freedom to question was also a “duty.”

“Portland State University has failed in fulfilling this duty. In doing so it has failed not only its students but the public that supports it,” he said. 

“While I am grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Portland State for over a decade, it has become clear to me that this institution is no place for people who intend to think freely and explore ideas.

“This is not the outcome I wanted. But I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?”

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