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Oh, Phil. What Have You Done?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Phil Hanlon were run out of town for something having nothing to do with his poor choice of administrators, his non-existent management, his ill-advised decisions, and his limp fundraising:

As the saying goes in politics, the cover-up can be worse than the crime. In this case, Phil publicly criticized a member of the Dartmouth community, Mark Bray, without having the good grace to ask for Bray’s views on the violence employed by antifa groups.

It’s one thing for a scholar to voice disagreement; it’s quite another to do so without having done adequate research beforehand. But then Phil Hanlon has never been accused of being a scholar. I bet that he has been completely surprised by this kerfuffle, just as he was taken unawares by the controversy over his appointment of Bruce Duthu.

Addendum: The Valley News has a story on the faculty letter regarding Phil Hanlon’s criticism of Mark Bray, too.

Addendum: On August 30 the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article regarding professors whose adminstration at their own institution of higher learning pointedly distanced itself from or even criticized their work. Herewith the section regarding the College and Mark Bray:

Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth College, gave some 50 news interviews based on his research on far-left anti-fascist groups after the deadly white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August. The radical groups, known as antifa, often protest far-right speakers, and many of the protests have turned violent.

Campus Reform published an article on August 21 that said Mr. Bray “repeatedly defended Antifa’s use of violence in response to white supremacist organizations.” Later that day, Dartmouth released a statement from the president’s office that said Mr. Bray’s comments did not represent the views of the college. “As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of opinions and ideas,” the statement said.

In response, more than 100 faculty members at Dartmouth signed a letter to the college’s president, Philip J. Hanlon, calling for the retraction of the statement. The professors say the characterization of Mr. Bray’s statements is wrong, arguing that he does not call for violent protest in any of his interviews or in his recently published book, Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.

“Professor Bray was exposed to violent threats, without so much as a basic effort even to warn him that the College intended to endorse the mischaracterization of his position and the implied attack on his scholarly standing by making clear he had no institutional support,” the statement said.

Mr. Bray said the letter “shows that there are a lot of faculty who support my academic freedom and are upset with the president issuing his statement without, at the very least, checking in with me and my department to clarify my comments.”


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