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'Cancel culture' war? San Diego State mulls revoking professor emeritus status over conduct

Written by on July 21, 2020

A recent proposal to strip San Diego State University (SDSU) professors of their emeritus status if they’ve done anything to harm the reputation of the school is getting pushback from faculty who argue that the policy would fan the flames of “cancel culture” currently en vogue throughout the U.S.

The proposal was brought forth earlier this month by the Academy Policy and Planning Committee, which advises the University Senate, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Under its terms, the University Senate could revoke a professor’s emeritus status for conduct that occurred before or after they were granted the title. But what type of conduct warrants revoking the emeritus title remains unclear.

An entrance sign and bridge to San Diego State University.

An entrance sign and bridge to San Diego State University. (iStock)

With an emeritus status, retired professors are given many benefits, including access to the school’s library, health and dental coverage, use of the school’s computers and the right to do research.

The policy would require the approval of the University Senate to be enacted. But it has already come under fire for its vague terms that some fear could potentially be abused.

AS ‘CANCEL CULTURE’ ACTIVISM PEAKS, BIG TECH AND ITS ALGORITHMS QUIETLY FUEL THE FLAMES

Peter Atterton, an SDSU philosophy professor and University Senate member, told the Union-Tribune that the policy seems to be an attempt “to discredit criticism and oppositional voices, and drown out dissent.”

“The focus at a university should be on what is true, not on what makes the university look better than it is. Again, SDSU is there for the public good, not to further its own interest,” Atterton said.

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In an email to his colleagues, SDSU sociology professor Mike McCall reportedly denounced the policy’s language as being “so appallingly vague it ought not have received a second of thought among academics, let alone seemingly be making its way through the policy consideration process.”

Fox News reached out to the University Senate for comment.

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