I hate to be the buzzkill after all of the celebrations of marriage equality and people being able to keep their insurance, but the war on education just got hot and heavy, and the anti-intellectual corporatists are winning big. Down in Bubba Jindal’s Louisiana, a tenured associate professor who has worked at LSU for 20 years has been fired for allegedly cursing and supposedly saying something about a student’s adhd. So far, there is minimal information about this case. Inside Higher Ed has said nothing, and only a short take at the Chronicle spells out the future for the rest of us.
Teresa Buchanan, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction was in charge of assigning legions of mostly female students to schools for student teaching. A multiple award winning professor who was recommended for promotion to Full before this “complaint”, Dr. Buchanan is not one to mince words, indeed the Chronicle describes her as “salty” as if that is funny. They are reporting on the most devastating case since Salaita, and they’re joking about a tenured professor being fired for profanity. Buchanan admits that she was in the middle of a divorce and may have said some things about men that the young sorority girls didn’t like. And, she allegedly implored them to make sure they used condoms so they didn’t ruin their lives. Given that most of them had abstinence education in Louisiana, I’m not so sure this is out of line at all. Curriculum and Instruction is a professional program, and you’ll hurt your professional development with an unwanted pregnancy. Allegations that she had said something about a student having ADHD were found to be unsubstantiated by the faculty panel, which unanimously rejected a ruling of termination put forward by the loser ass second generation corporatist president of LSU, FuKing Alexander.
So, a tenured heterosexual female professor supposedly “sexually harassed” students by, what, saying fuck a lot? Telling them not to get pregnant once in a while? Is that harassment? Was she calling all of them every night to ask if they had condoms in their purse? NO. She said something once. And, she maybe whined about her divorce–as people often do. And for this, she was fired from a tenured job at a supposed research university.
There is a much better article in the Advocate about this. Basically, the faculty committee criticized the vague sexual harassment policy, and the chair of the LSU Faculty senate said that Buchanan’s cursing could not in any way be construed as sexual harassment. They also pointed out that any complaint against Buchanan (no student testified….) should have simply been handled at the department chair level ‘ Hey Teresa, knock off the dick jokes, you’re scaring the children…” That the Chronicle makes a joke of it and Inside Higher Ed didn’t even bother to cover it reflects their ownership by corporate education, who are just fine with having Human Resource Deanlets policing the faculty.
This is our future. Boards of assholes appointed by politicians flanked by corporatist administrators and legions of deanlings and deanlets will be monitoring what we say and firing us for saying fuck. Nobody will say anything about it. The “academic press” will ignore it. Every week this will happen with greater frequency, until we all accept that we cannot usurp the authority of our corporate overlords. We’ll have speech codes, conduct codes, dress codes, and content codes for our courses—syllabi and textbooks will be provided by Pearsons and Wiley and Elsevier…….Deviation will not be tolerated, it’s in the code.