Springfield College Professor Harassed for ‘Men in Literature’ Course

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Alex Brandon/AP

Springfield College in Massachusetts is trying to fire Professor Dennis Gouws over his decision to teach a course entitled “Men in Literature.”

Springfield College Professor Dennis Gouws has come under fire for his course “Men in Literature,” which was approved by the college in 2005. In 2017, the college canceled the course and placed Gouws on “official warning status,” over “several instances of subordinate conduct.

In a letter to the dean from November, Gouws defended himself against his “warning status.”

I received with surprise and considerable unhappiness your letter of November 13, informing me that I have been placed again on “Official Warning Status.” It is, of course, your prerogative to deploy this threat, but it is ill-advised. You are essentially punishing me for asking legitimate questions about the conditions of my employment and for refusing to participate in activities that do not accord with Springfield College policies. In addition, you are expecting me to do these questionable things with administrators who have made abundantly clear their animus against me.

Peter W. Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars, provided some clarity on the situation in a column for The Federalist.

[Dean] Herzog was never satisfied with stripping Gouws of his favorite course, denying his sabbatical leave, or refusing official recognition to his academic contributions to men’s studies. The underlying theme of Herzog’s interventions is that she wants Gouws’s total ideological submission, and, failing that, she wants to fire him.

In a statement to The College Fix, Gouws says that he will continue to fight against the administrators at Springfield College.

“I am in my twentieth year of teaching at Springfield College. My teaching evaluations indicate that I am an effective teacher. I also contribute to Springfield College in many ways when I can. I would hope to be provided with an ordinary level of professional respect and support for my work. This is not the case, however, because some of my colleagues dislike my interest in male studies,” Gouws said.


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