Campus Free Speech

American Association of University Professors Comes Out Swinging Against Title IX Inquisition

The federal government is chilling speech, professors say.



An influential academic freedom organization has published a devastating critique of federal sexual harassment policies that are chilling speech on college campuses and trampling students' due process rights. 

The American Association of University Professors believes that the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights is interpreting Title IX—the federal law ensuring gender equality in higher education funding—far too broadly, resulting in mass deprivation of students' free expression and due process rights. A draft of the organization's new report on the subject, "The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX," is available here. From the report: 

Title IX's track record has proven to be uneven. Success stories about compelling universities to address problems of sexual assault, such as those recounted by student campus groups,3 are matched by reported cases in which university administrators fail to punish gross and repeated sexual harassment, or where Title IX administrators from the Department of Education and within the university overreach and seek to punish protected academic speech. These cases have compromised the realization of meaningful educational goals that enable the creation of sexually safe campuses; they also have upended due process rights and shared governance in unprecedented ways. 

The full report in worth looking over. It's a very thorough and powerful exploration of how the current Title IX regime is chilling protected speech and damaging academic freedom. The AAUP cites several such cases that Reason has covered, including the censorship controversies that involved Laura KipnisTeresa Buchanan, and Alice Dreger

In an interview with Reason, the AAUP's Anita Levy said the organization's members—university professors—are increasingly vocal about their dislike of Title IX. 

"We had been receiving a lot of inquiries and complaints from faculty members about Title IX enforcement on campuses," she said. 

Levy blamed administrators for meekly submitting to the dictates of the federal government without stopping to ask whether Title IX really compels universities to take such drastic measures to combat harassment. 

"Through an abundance of caution, administrations on university campuses have really been going overboard, and totally cutting the faculty out of the process," she said. 

This report is just a draft: after a public comment period, it will go to a committee for review and approval. I hope the AAUP doesn't revise it too much—it's a really excellent treatment of the subject. 

For more on this subject, read Elizabeth Nolan Brown's review of "The Sex Bureaucracy," a new paper by Harvard University Law professors Jeannie Suk and Jacob Gersen. 

NEXT: Ohio Cops Think This Guy Should Go to Jail for Making Fun of Them

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  1. Can you imagine the list of mandates if Sanders gets his way with education? They wouldn’t even bother hiding the fact that they would just be re-education camps.

    1. How can they be RE-education camps if they’ve stopped educating in the first place?

      1. As my kids say it: He’s really re (as in retarded), so maybe call it Re Re-education camps.

      2. Certain forms of “education” need to be stopped ? including the out-dated philosophy of the American Association of University Professors itself. This organization has attempted to defend the legality of online harassment of faculty and students, foolishly stating in one publication that “while the Supreme Court held many years ago that a speaker could be punished for highly provocative face-to-face utterances likely to trigger a violent response? there does not seem to be any basis for treating even the most intemperate digital ‘flaming’ in the same way, since the proximate, ‘in-your-face’ risks simply do not exist when the combatants are seated at keyboards an unknown distance apart.” Fortunately, these “professors” have now fallen silent on this important matter, no doubt in the wake of growing public awareness of the dangers posed by micro-aggressive trigger-speech and, above all, in view of the collaborative ? and necessary ? efforts of university administrators and prosecutors in America’s leading criminal “satire” case, documented at:

    2. Bill Ayers wrote a manifesto for socialist education, and it’s about what you’d expect.

      “High school kids might develop a rich and varied portfolio for graduation, a set of works to be defended in front of a committee consisting of an advisor, a peer, a teacher, a community resident, and a family member. This might consist of grades and test scores (in the short-term, as the system transitions), along with an original work of art, a physical challenge set and met, a favorite piece of writing, a record of community service, a work/ study plan for the next four years, a list of the ten best books they’ve read, an essay on “What Makes an Educated Person,” and a list of the books and essays they want to read, films they want to watch, and projects they plan to pursue in the next five years. And so on.”

      I notice that at no point does Bill Ayers’ new socialist student get around to learning math.

      1. Who needs math? Anything that might disagree with the narrative must be discarded.

        And I read that excerpt from his book. Lots of platitudes with no supporting data. I think his vision of education is basically creating grievance studies programs at the elementary school level.

      2. What happens if my ten favorite books don’t meet this douchebag’s standards?

        What a despicable degenerate this piece of shit is. That he is still around is a marvel onto itself.

        1. You go back through the process until you are capable of making the correct book choices.

        2. What happens if my ten favorite books don’t meet this douchebag’s standards?

          What normally happens if your school assignments don’t meet the teacher’s standards?

        3. That is what happens when you have wealthy parents who hire good lawyers, and leave you $.

      3. I don’t get what’s so obviously laughable about this other than a lack of math, which, I mean, there are math books and math projects so I don’t see that that’s necessarily even missing.

        1. For one thing, Ayers claims support a more fluid educational system while simultaneously heaping love on teachers’ unions, which are incredibly ossified and are one of the major impediments to any changes in the educational system.

          There’s also the fact that most of the stuff he lists (listing books! record of community service! movies you want to watch!) don’t have any educational value.

          1. There’s also the fact that most of the stuff he lists (listing books! record of community service! movies you want to watch!) don’t have any educational value.

            Those things all have educational value.

            1. To-do lists have educational value? Have I been earning credits toward my PhD every time I run errands?

              Trust the individualist anarchist to defend compulsory public education where talking about what you’d like to be when you grow up is a key achievement. Better yet, we could have the schools force the kids to come shovel your sidewalk whenever it snows. Win-win.

        2. This might consist of grades and test scores (in the short-term, as the system transitions),

          So, after the transition, we’re looking at complete subjectivity, right?

          along with an original work of art,

          Here’s my “White Cat in a Blizzard.”

          a physical challenge set and met,I challenge myself to walk to the committee’s evaluation

          a favorite piece of writing,

          For what purpose?

          a record of community service,

          13th Amendment

          a work/ study plan for the next four years,

          None of your fucking business.

          a list of the ten best books they’ve read,

          Why? Do I have to defend this list? It is just busy work?

          an essay on “What Makes an Educated Person,”

          Graded? Not after the transition. Evaluated on content?

          and a list of the books and essays they want to read, films they want to watch, and projects they plan to pursue in the next five years. And so on.”

          None of your fucking business. And so on.

          While some of these might be, or might not be, reasonable concepts for, say, a parent to ask of a high school kid, it’s none of the fucking business of anyone on this supposed committee, all the more so if (when) it basically turns into defending your thesis before being allowed to graduate high school.

      4. Learning math is the same as unlearning socialism.

        1. Then explain orthodox “saltwater” economics.

      5. “a record of community service”

        And I’ll presume this could include setting up a lemonade stand when you were a youngster to see how enterprise is of service to the ‘community’?
        Otherwise, screw you.

        1. ‘lemonade stand’

          Not without a permit you don’t…..

  2. It would be nice if a university actually decided to push back on this, since the OCR’s “Dear Colleague” letter does not have the force of law. Of course, it’s always easier to just roll over and fuck up the lives of innocents rather than risk fighting the Feds in court, even when the law is on your side. Doubly so in the case of risk-averse campus bureaucrats.

    1. And triply so when so many colleges and universities are funded by federal and state monies.
      Pulling the plug on the ‘revenue’ stream is driving the risk-averse behavior that leads to rolling over for whatever the feds ask.

    2. Quadruply so since many university bureaucrats actually agree with the new regime.

      I’m surprised, honestly, that the profs are pushing back this hard. I’m thinking they see how easily Title IX v. 2.0 can be turned against them.

      1. That tells me how awful things have gotten.

      2. I deserved an A+, but since you gave me a B it must have been rape.

      3. I think the faculty have finally awkened to the fact that administration is what is eating their raises and increasing the per faculty workload. The new Title iX interpretation guarantees more administrator jobs without increasing funding. Even the Chair of the English Department can do that math.

      4. “Hey?! My ox is being gored!”

    1. #TrumpFever

      1. Have son in laws named Jeff.

      2. Pot smoking?

      3. Beaners?


    2. Trump2016 please

    3. Are they trying to make #Trump2016 a thing? Seriously, the way to get trolled more is to let the troll know he’s getting to you.

      1. It could be anything. False flag, maybe?

        Either way, these people aren’t very capable of planning ahead. It’s all about ME, NOW!

        1. I assumed it’s some joker who doesn’t give a crap about the election, but false flag is definitely in the victims handbook.

    4. Next time, trigger warning please.

    5. Too bad her name wasn’t ‘MiJoo’.

    6. Of course it was a white board.

      I think I committed violence against women at a Christmas party last year, as I changed some drawing of a woman to depict her period.

  3. Levy blamed administrators for meekly submitting to the dictates of the federal government…

    One might suggest a culture of presenting that academia itself has nurtured.

    1. Yeah. I wonder if professors are speaking out only because they are getting caught in Title IX’s net.

      1. Patriarchy! Patriarchy! Wait, you mean I can’t fuck my freshman students anymore? I’m being oppressed!

  4. #trump2016

      1. Was meant to be a reply to your link. I’ll blame the squirrels.

        Or racism.

          1. Racism AGAINST squirrelz!

            1. *Marches with banner reading “Squirrelz Against Racism”, raise fist in Squirrel Power salute*

              1. Probably want to raise both fists. That’s the SQUIRRELZ POWER salute!

                1. No raised fists. Just nervously twiddle fingers on both hands, near your mouth. Stop occasionally and dart your eyes back and forth, before twiddling again.

                  1. Lift your tail. Oh, you don’t have one? To the back of the line, shitlord!

                    1. *dejectedly moves to back of line*

  5. taking bets on whether this triggers a Title IX complaint and investigation.

    1. Something something trigger warning.

  6. Sociology Professor Patty Adler’s class, “Deviance in US Society,” which had for more than twenty years enrolled each semester around five hundred students. They were following up on complaints from students that Adler’s class constituted sexual harassment.At the conclusion of the term, undergraduate teaching assistants participated in and witnessed role-playing exercises featuring subjects relevant to course material involving the global sex trade:these performances animated character types, such as an “Eastern European ‘slave whore,’ a pimp, a ‘bar
    whore,’ and a high-end escort.”


    1. enrolled each semester around five hundred students.

      At those volumes, it might as well be on-line.

    2. an “Eastern European ‘slave whore,’ a pimp, a ‘barwhore,’ and a high-end escort. all walk into a bar….

  7. Before y’all march hand-in-hand with the AAUP, you might want to know about their end-game here:

    Problems of definitionare compounded by the administrative and governance structures of the
    entrepreneurial university itself?ones that promote Title IX with one hand, while the other adopts priorities that d
    o not favor programs and areas of study that exist to analyze how sex, gender, power, and advantage operate.
    Emphasis on the importance of external research funding devalues programs such as gender, feminist, and sexuality studies, which are unlikely to have the same kinds of research grant opportunities as social science and science departments.

    1. The current focus on measuring the worth of higher education in terms of a path to employment
      also lowers the perceived value of such programs. Further, seeking to raise more tuition revenue, universities ”
      invest [] in resort-like amenities, even as they cut academic departments and financial aid.”81 Allied disciplines such as Africana Studies, Latino/a Studies, and other locations for gender and sexuality inquiry, as well as
      critical race and ethnic studies scholarship across the humanities and social sciences, have faced similar setbacks.
      One recent example is the drastic?40%–budget cut for Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, part of “the structural undercutting of Ethnic Studies across the California State University system.” 82 At Berkeley, in 2015, the administration proposed “repositioning” the Center for Race and Gender, effectively decreasing its instit
      utional support.83 Similar attacks on such programs have charged them with contributing to divisiveness and
      stressing collective over individual experience.84

      1. critical race and ethnic studies scholarship


        Having adequate amounts of chocolate ice cream in the freezer is critical. Ethnic studies are very much an unnecessary – even frivolous – luxury.

        1. Not sure if srs…

            1. Maybe she’s lactose intolerant. You ever think of that? Huh?

              Christ. You people!

              1. What do you mean, “you people”?

              2. Christ.

                So oppressive.

                1. Christ.

                  So oppressive.

                  Indeed. If he comes back, well, we’ll just have to kill him again. Last time, we only had a hammer and some nails to work with. Think of how much more effective a Merkava MBT will be aforthe job.

            2. Mint chip is a crime against nature.

              1. That’s the correct answer.

                1. Mint ice cream and lime sherbet are key elements in my cunning plan for always having sweet frozen treats available for my own consumption.

          1. Of course I am serious! Every statement I wrote is objectively true… demonstrably so!

            1. From whose perspective though? Arguing for the utility of a discipline from a society’s collective perspective seems an odd tack for an anarchist like tarran to take. I can say from my spot inside the belly of the beast, Ethnic Studies, for most institutions, have a hell of a lot higher profit margin than anything requiring a lab with equipment. Especially since tuition rates are the same for all students regardless of major.

              1. Is the Ethnic Studies department registering many patents with the US Patent Office?

              2. I think the only persons for whom a college’s Ethnic Studies program is vital or critical in any way, shape, or form, are the professors employed within the program.

                When I consider other stakeholders, I arrive at the conclusion that these programs are entirely expendable.

                1. I agree with you and to the extent people in this field get their taxpayer backed loans forgiven, they can go fuck themselves. If it’s truly a free market and the student is taking the risk of default on any loans they have, then I am completely fine with it.

        2. I read “critical” as referring to “critical theory”.

          1. *mounting sense of rage, as I recall “Critical Legal Studies”*

            Source of “Wise Latina” BS…

      2. “Ethnic Studies” and other frivolities are the perfect thing for universities – only, drop the massive public subsidies and see what survives. Other studies which are a “path to employment” would do well to dissociate themselves from these schools ASAP in order to save interested students a boatload of money.

        1. No argument there. But hate the game, not the player.

          1. I have plenty of hate for both, thank you.

            1. I second that comment

        2. To expand upon your point, to survive in the marketplace your “path to employment” STEM schools (assuming we’re talking about traditional 4-year bachelor degrees) would have to charge tuition rates that would make medical schools blush in order to break even when you factor in the cost of faculty and equipment. Now it’s possible that such schools would eventually develop a model of complete corporate sponsorship like the Apprentice School, which would be great for the more applied disciplines. But astronomers and theoretical physicists, as an example, would mostly find themselves shit out of luck.

    2. I’m pretty sure the commenters are skeptical of the AAUP as well. I’m thinking alot of “you asked for it, you’re getting it” comments.

      1. I’m just amused that they are so earnestly playing the role to the hilt with their argument that over-zealous Title XI enforcement is capitalism’s fault.

          1. Sorry…my dyscalculia was acting up there.

          2. You know what else bad had an 11 in it?

            1. Nigel Tufnel’s amp?

              1. Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
                Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
                Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
                Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
                Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
                Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
                Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
                Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
                Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
                Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
                Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

        1. their argument that over-zealous Title XI enforcement is capitalism’s fault

          I imagine it has something to do with them not being very smart. Knowledgeable in their carefully monoculture field, but not smart enough to be aware of the actual world we live in.

          1. I’m not sure I buy that; I lean towards ‘crazy like a fox’ in that they know our culture, like with medicine, has a long streak of distaste and distrust for the profit motive in education. By framing it as ‘profit-minded institutional administrators being over-zealous in prosecuting Title IX in fear of being sued and losing money’, they come off much more sympathetic to the Average Joe than complaining about a ‘necessary evil’ to protect even just one woman.

            1. I don’t disagree, but they seem more conspiracy minded than just that. They seem to be on the side of students accidentally in that they are more worried that T9 will be used as a weapon against them than the students they purport to represent.

              This seems a soi distant protest when they try and root it in a different complaint that threatens them.

              1. Make sense. It is also absolutely disgusting.

  8. An influential academic freedom organization has published a devastating critique of federal sexual harassment policies that are chilling speech on college campuses and trampling students’ due process rights.

    The Patriarchy?

  9. “Nobody expects the Title IX Inquisition!”

  10. This is a prime example of how coercive government morphs the “rule of law” into the “rule of men”, and what is wrong with appeals courts being able to split a decision. If there haven’t already been lawsuits over this kind of crap, there will be, and appeals courts will divide 3-1 or 5-4 over what they mean. When laws are so flexible that learned judges can’t agree on what they mean, how are ordinary people supposed to understand them, and how can the typical burrocrat be held accountable to any standard interpretation?

    1. But… but… ignorance of the law is no excuse!

      /retarded law student

      1. “Unless you are a cop, and need Probable Cause for a stop! Then it is fine!”


  11. so you empowered a government bureaucracy and its not doing what you wanted. there is an iron law for this.

  12. On topic: Math is too hard and makes students sad.

    “”One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker told the Associated Press.”

    If too many people are failing a certain course of study, we should just get rid of that course.

    “”One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker told the Associated Press.””

    Uh…are they not required to learn algebra in Britain or France? Because if they are, then I’m not sure how our higher dropout rates have anything to do with algebra.

    1. I’ll “go there” and say I’m betting a certain culture has a problem with learning and has an abnormally high dropout rate.

      1. America? The answer’s America, isn’t it.

      2. All right, I’ll do it:


        Or should that be ALL CAPS? I lost my style manual – think the squirrels ate it…

      3. Irish?

        1. I can no longer keep track of my sock puppets

    2. Math might be hard, but being disingenuous with it is apparently pretty easy.

      “The chief [i]academic[/i] reason…” What’s the chief reason, overall?

      1. Damned BBCode habits.

        1. Could be worse. Could be squirrels. I rebooted and now they’re just eating half of the post.


    3. “”Will algebra help you understand the federal budget?” Hacker ? not much of a Keynesian man, apparently ? asked, according to the AP.””

      Yeah, who ever heard of budget analysis requiring algebra?

    4. If too many people are failing a certain course of study, we should just get rid of that course.

      From what I understand, Hacker’s argument is more “The American educational system needs to start tracking students by academic ability again”.

      1. I miss the good old days when Hacker was just a cabinet minister…

    5. Instead of learning how to solve rudimentary equations, Hacker argues, American high schoolers should be presented with a math curriculum concentrating on statistics and number sense. (Number sense is an en-vogue academic buzzword for the ability to estimate and compare numbers.)

      So let’s teach statistics instead of algebra. Because statistics is sooooo easy.

      1. Algebra, geometry, trig I understand. Statistics as far as I can tell is some sort of arcane Voodoo magic.

        1. *shrugs* I’ve always liked stats.

          1. I respect people who can do statistics, it always baffled me.

            1. I think part of the problem is that statistics isn’t math; it’s something you can do with math. You don’t have to be an auto mechanic to drive a car, but when something goes wrong, you can’t fix it unless you have an auto mechanic’s knowledge. A lot of statistics is “if you want to know this, run this test” and if you ask why then you get a “well…because you have to!” However, once you understand the calculus behind those tests, the whole enterprise makes a hell of a lot more sense.

              1. Exactly. Statistics is plagued with practitioners who don’t understand what they are doing at a fundamental level yet are perfectly willing to draw extravagant conclusions from their results.

                1. Statistics is plagued with practitioners who don’t understand what they are doing at a fundamental level yet are perfectly willing to draw extravagant conclusions from their results.

                  Nassim Talib…is that you? I may be a linguist but I’m not Steven Pinker…I swear! 🙂

              2. I never took calculus so that might be the problem. From my view it appeared very mystical. “Here is the formula to give you the average age of panda bears in 2039.” *blank stare*

                1. *see the word ‘calculus’ and curls into the fetal position on the floor*

      2. (Number sense is an en-vogue academic buzzword for the ability to estimate and compare numbers.)

        Lack of number sense is the absolute biggest problem with people who are bad at/scared of math. But it’s important to call it a voguish buzzword, so fuck number sense.

        1. No “number sense” is the monosyllabic Anglo-Saxon root word breakdown for mouth-breathers of the academic buzzword “subitizing

    6. If they tried combining deviant sex studies with algebra kids would be happy.

  13. No, meet Fucking Shit.

    1. “Fucking Shit here, and boy do I have a dirty deal for YOU”

  14. How many of these professors are morons who voted for Obumbles?

  15. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail. +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

  16. Title IX’s track record has proven to be uneven.

    When I look at what Title IX has done, I can’t figure out which are the successes and which are the failures:

    (1) More women’s sports. OK, that one is a success, I guess.

    (2) Fewer men’s sports. Success or failure?

    (3) Men evicted without cause. Success or failure?

    (4) Women hypersensitized and empowered to go after men for no good reason. Success or failure?

  17. We all have a desire to separate education from politics but evidently it is impossible. We really need educated leaders, who realize the value of intelligent people. We have many educational establishments and innovations, but frankly speaking it seems to make things more complicated. More and more students become unmotivated and try to create essay online instead of writing academic papers, because the want to get better grades spending less time. We have to find new ways and hopefully politicians will help.

  18. Well, it was all good until they started filing charges against profs and lecturers.
    Oops! That wasn’t supposed to happen.

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