Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Bates College faculty fearful of challenging students due to far-left DEI office

Faculty who do not espouse a ‘specific form of ideology’ are ‘met with hostility’

A recent report from The Federalist details how professors at Maine’s Bates College are hesitant to challenge students for fear of being reported to the school’s DEI — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — office.

Recent Bates graduate Roy Matthews corresponded with several professors from the institution and found its DEI office is being used to intimidate instructors into compliance with its progressive ideology.

Keith Taylor, a geology professor, was subjected to a “mock hearing” led by Dean of Faculty Malcolm Hill due to challenging a student to “provide evidence that […] Bates is anti-black and based in white supremacy” after alleging just that.

According to Matthews, “activist students [at the hearing] voiced their accusations of racism and silenced other students, who wanted Taylor to finish his class because of upcoming final exams.”

Taylor was “ordered to apologize” for his “racial insensitivity,” but he refused. He eventually was fired.

Audio of the “hearing” is a must-listen. Dean Hill’s introduction touches on just about every DEI soundbite extant, such as “centering” DEI into every aspect of the campus, students’ “lived experiences,” and that there’s always “more work to do.”

Hill (pictured) expresses “shock” and “disappointment” at Taylor’s comments to the student,  saying they provoked a “profound visceral” reaction in him.

When a student challenges Hill on freedom of expression and the chilling effect the “hearing” would have on classroom discourse, Hill replies Taylor’s comments “raise questions about what kind of position is the professor occupying in this space … do folks in this class feel like they can learn in this space.”

MORE: Soviet-educated professor resigns association membership over DEI statements

Anthropology Professor Loring Danforth similarly was reprimanded by Hill for challenging a student’s assertion that Bates sits on “stolen” Native American land.

“Do you mean legally? Technically? Morally? Historically? Traditionally?” Danforth had asked the student. He then asked “Do Native Americans own the land your parents’ house in Connecticut is on, or do your parents own it?”

Hill reportedly also went after Danforth following a “black staff member’s” offense at the professor’s claim that race is a “social construction.” In this case, however, Hill ended up having to apologize to Danforth after Bates President Clayton Spencer got involved.

Economics Professor Paul Shea told Matthews incidents like Bates students getting angry at a single photo of a College Republican in a school Instagram series on student voting make him “fear for the future” of the institution.

That one photo led to a protest attended by “hundreds” of students, and Bates eventually deleting the entire voting photo series.

Shea said “More and more departments seem comfortable infusing their curricula with specific forms of activism and ideology and those that do not are met with hostility or, in some cases, a loss of resources.”

T. Glen Lawson, a now-retired Bates chemistry professor, said the school’s “environment is toxic and freedom of expression and academic freedom have both been suppressed in the past few years.”

Earlier this year, Bates faculty opposed to a new “Race, Power, Privilege, [and] Colonialism” requirement were called “intellectual cowards.” The mandate came about via a “working group of professors and students” which had suggested courses like calculus could “situate race, white supremacy, colonialism, power, and privilege centrally and attend to them throughout the course.”

MORE: Billionaire confirms Harvard president was DEI hire as dozens more plagiarism accusations emerge

IMAGES: Shutterstock.com; Bates College

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.