Keeping a bigoted professor sends a toxic message to students

It began on Twitter. On November 7, Professor Eric Rasmusen, a man who is part of the faculty at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, tweeted: “geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness.” The tweet was a quote from an article titled “Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably.” The piece, from an obscure website, argues that women are more “conformist, empathetic and sympathetic,” which in turn makes them “unsuited” for academia.

Nor are women the only group that Rasmusen considers lesser beings; in the past he has reportedly expressed both racist and homophobic views. As much as it rankles to parrot his bigotry, for the record, examples of his hateful statements include his arguing, according to the University provost, that black students are unqualified for attendance at elite institutions and according to the Indiana Daily Student, gay men must be excluded from academia because they cannot help but abuse students.
It is Eric Rasmusen who is unsuited for academia. The administrators of Indiana University, however, don’t think so. After the Rasmusen controversy exploded on social media, Provost Lauren Robel issued a strongly worded statement decrying Rasmusen’s actions and stating its nondiscrimination policy, but asserting that the First Amendment precludes the university from firing him. The school will allow students to opt out of Rasmusen’s courses (currently required for business majors) and will monitor his grading, but everything else, according to the statement, will be left just the way it was.
Indiana University’s position reveals an unwillingness to stand up for women, racial minorities and LGBTQI students who are now even more vulnerable to the all powerful “tenured” professors who may never be fired.

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