None that I know of. The persecution story of conservatives – many of whom prefer to consider themselves “traditional liberal” as they think it sounds better – is common. It often involves making up stories such as: “I used to be progressive but I saw the error of my ways.” or “I got an email this morning from a professor who is in fear of losing his job” and yet there’s no evidence of them being a progressive before, nor does anything ever crop up about a supposed professor living in fear. It’s possible but unlikely. It’s just-so stories. Certain Christian groups you’ll find this in “conversion” stories. Elaborate stories involving wayward kids, abusive situations, being everything wicked and then finding Christ. That’s not to say those conversation stories don’t happen, but that they’re so cookie-cutter makes it suspect. Playing innocent is part of it as well. “Who, little old me who does nothing wrong ever?” Heaping blame on invisible enemies is another. Common buzzwords abound. Pinker has a bit of distancing to do because the Epstein connection. My disregard for his is linguistic in nature as he was anti-connectionist and his telephone switchboard model is only slightly worse than Chomsky’s moving symbols, although at least Chomsky’s is of its time (1950s).

None that I know of. The persecution story of conservatives – many of whom prefer to consider themselves “traditional liberal” as they think it sounds better – is common.
 
It often involves making up stories such as: “I used to be progressive but I saw the error of my ways.” or “I got an email this morning from a professor who is in fear of losing his job” and yet there’s no evidence of them being a progressive before, nor does anything ever crop up about a supposed professor living in fear. It’s possible but unlikely.
 
It’s just-so stories. Certain Christian groups you’ll find this in “conversion” stories. Elaborate stories involving wayward kids, abusive situations, being everything wicked and then finding Christ. That’s not to say those conversation stories don’t happen, but that they’re so cookie-cutter makes it suspect.
 
Playing innocent is part of it as well. “Who, little old me who does nothing wrong ever?”
 
Heaping blame on invisible enemies is another. Common buzzwords abound.
 
Pinker has a bit of distancing to do because the Epstein connection. My disregard for his is linguistic in nature as he was anti-connectionist and his telephone switchboard model is only slightly worse than Chomsky’s moving symbols, although at least Chomsky’s is of its time (1950s).
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I call hogwash on the persecution. I’ve been hearing it for decades. It’s almost a required part of the narrative
 MYTH:
Professors say they need to have tenure to have academic freedom which sounds too much like the freedom to do or say whatever they want, no matter how radical or inconsequential. Anyway, the Constitution protects academic freedom; you don’t need tenure for that.

REALITY:
Academic freedom is important because society needs “safe havens,” places where students and scholars can challenge the conventional wisdom of “academic freedom,” any field-art, science, politics or whatever. This is not a threat to society; it strengthens society. It puts ideas to the test and teaches students to think and defend their ideas. But how many professors would feel free to talk about controversial ideas if they knew their jobs were on the line?

Tenure gives faculty the independence to speak out about troubling matters and to challenge the administration on issues of new curriculum and quality.

The problem could be academic: For example, an untenured professor was fired by the University of Georgia when she blew the whistle on the administration’s practice of changing grades and waiving academic standards for athletes. (She was reinstated after a lengthy court battle.)

The problem could be political. In Oklahoma, a number of state legislators attempted to have Anita Hill fired from her university position because of her testimony before the U.S. Senate. If not for tenure, professors could be attacked every time there’s a change in the wind.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but the Constitution does not guarantee that you can’t be fired for expressing your beliefs as part of your job. The courts could decide either way — and the burden of proof shifts sharply to the professor.

What if dismissed professors always had to go to the courts to seek fair treatment? The governance process under tenure may seem cumbersome, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the time and expense of moving disputes from the college board room to the courtroom.

Remember: There are limits to tenure. Tenure does not mean that a science teacher can hold students to his or her belief that the sun revolves around the earth, and it doesn’t mean professors can act unprofessionally.

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