Matthew Wielicki, an associate professor of geology sciences at the University of Alabama, will resign at the end of the spring semester, citing personal family matters but also a frustration with the politicization of the academy.
He first announced his resignation via a Twitter thread on Jan. 23, and subsequently told The College Fix in an interview that he grew increasingly frustrated with the profession due to growing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mandates as well as climate alarmism.
Wielicki told The Fix via email he takes issue with the narrow scope that the sciences are constricted by with university and government funding priorities.
“The majority of funding within the earth sciences is climate-focused,” he said. “This means that those that don’t do climate science have to compete for fewer and fewer resources as so much is being funneled to climate science.”
In his Twitter thread, he said universities “are no longer places that embrace the freedom of exchanging ideas and will punish those that go against the narrative.”
“…Contributing to this is the earth science communities silence on the false ‘climate emergency’ narrative. Members of the community routinely discuss the mental health effects of climate catastrophism but dare not speak out.”
In his email to The College Fix, he said the climate alarmism narrative has a negative effect on young people “because it robs them of ambition.”
“They are constantly being told the planet will end in a decade or so,” he said.
Why I am leaving the University of Alabama:
Some internet sleuths have discovered that I will be leaving my faculty position in the Department of Geological Sciences after this semester so I thought I should tell you why. As with most large decisions, the reasons…
— Dr. Matthew M. Wielicki (@MatthewWielicki) January 23, 2023
In his Twitter thread, he also voiced frustration with the “obsession with universities and grant-funding institutions on immutable characteristics of faculty and students and the push for equity in science above all else, [which has] has dramatically changed the profession of an academic professor.”
Asked to speak on the University of Alabama in particular, Wielicki told The Fix “it’s not just one thing.”
“That’s kind of the problem,” he added. “It’s all the small incremental bits that frame more of our academic lives through the lens of DEI that I think are alienating students from all backgrounds.”
He said one solution would be “open discussions and critically looking at the outcomes.”
“We should always be evaluating if our good-intentioned programs are having unintended consequences,” he said.
Although he is leaving his professorship, he still plans to engage the academic world through a book and a podcast, according to his Twitter thread.
“I will continue to objectively review the current state of the science and provide my expert opinions through social media and a future podcast and book (hopefully, coming soon),” he tweeted.
Professor Wielicki told The Fix he remains in the “brainstorming phase” of his projects, and that he intends to continue teaching in the future at possibly one of the “emerging independent universities” that are springing up nationwide.
When asked for a comment regarding Wielicki’s resignation and public comments, Shane Dorrill, assistant director of communications for the University of Alabama, said the institution is “committed to academic freedom, free speech, and open scientific inquiry for all members of our campus.”
“As an institution of higher education, the University encourages civil discourse and the exchange of numerous and varying perspectives,” Dorill said. “We offer a wide variety of intellectual opportunities and encourage students to form their own opinions and beliefs.”
“Faculty earn opportunities at the University according to the merit of their work. We have no comment on specific faculty employment decisions or outcomes.”
MORE: Harvard Medical School adds climate change to its curriculum
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