The University of Chicago has defended a professor that was recently attacked by students for criticizing the university’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. In a statement, University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer reaffirmed the university’s commitment to free expression.
According to a report by the College Fix, the University of Chicago is pushing back against calls for the termination of Professor Dorian Abbott, who sparked a controversy when he criticized the university’s efforts to hire more women and minorities.
In a series of videos, Abbott argued that faculty members should be hired on the basis of merit. Shortly after the videos circulated within the community, students called on administrators to sanction Abbott.
“The contents of Professor Dorian Abbot’s videos threaten the safety and belonging of all underrepresented groups within the department and serve to undermine Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives,” a letter from concerned students and faculty read.
Despite the students’ demands, University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer defended Abbott’s right to express himself. Zimmer, citing the university’s own free speech guidelines, also said that the university will not restrict the speech of professors or require them to apologize when they offend others.
“As articulated in the Chicago Principles, the University of Chicago is deeply committed to the values of academic freedom and the free expression of ideas, and these values have been consistent throughout our history,” Zimmer wrote. “We believe universities have an important role as places where novel and even controversial ideas can be proposed, tested and debated. For this reason, the University does not limit the comments of faculty members, mandate apologies, or impose other disciplinary consequences for such comments.”
Breitbart News reported in September that the University of Chicago is only accepting English Ph.D. candidates that are willing to concentrate on “black studies.”
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