Thursday, August 21, 2008

And this is why I blog anonymously.

Like I said in my initial blog entry, I teach Freshman Composition at a small, Midwestern university. I'm not tenured, nor will I be tenured in the near (or, indeed, foreseeable) future. I'm a part-time instructor, employed "at will," by semester, by contract. My university has a speech code: a rule in a handbook that says that no one may use hateful, discriminatory speech, nor any other type of speech that creates a hostile environment for work or learning. There is a free speech zone--a small area on campus where anything may be said without repercussions. I tell my students that my class is also a free speech zone, but I am fully aware that if someone complains, I will face repercussions.

Like Donald Hindley at Brandeis University. However, unlike Dr. Hindley, I'm not tenured. I can be told that there's no need for my services, and let go. Especially since my colleagues have decided that I'm not what they thought I would be (spineless and able to be molded into their own images), and my political views are photo-negatives of theirs. Until I come up with a good handle, my signature on my blog will remain absent.

3 comments:

  1. This was a real eye opener for me. I can totally understand why you will not put your signature on your blog, if the samething happened to you like Donald Hindley the unversity would lose a great instructor.

    It is ashame that instructors who have a different point of view from the ruling class on campus have fear of losing their jobs.

    Isn't this the land of "Free Speech" or have they taken that way from us.

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  2. That's something I've always wondered. It's kind of scary.

    -h

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  3. If I were you, I'd beat it out of the college you work for and find work in a REAL institution of learning -- one that is not systematically afraid of free speech and lets people speak their minds on their own time in whatever way they choose, without the specter of an administration-initiated witchhunt if you say something they don't like.

    I'm fortunate enough to work at such a place, so that even before I was tenured I blogged "in the clear" with my real name, often on controversial subjects, and the college tenured me *because of*, not *in spite of*, what I think about. Those places are out there; good teaching is scarce; let your college compete for you on the basis of academic freedom.

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