A few weeks ago, conservative organization Turning Point USA created a "Professor Watchlist" of individuals who "discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom."
Emory University philosophy professor Noelle McAfee responded with a "Professor Watchlist Redux" that included luminaries such as Einstein and Socrates.
Response to the original website has spread—since the Watchlist's creation, over 1,700 academics at institutions nationwide have volunteered to have their names added to the site.
Many colleges, universities, and professors view inclusion on the list as a badge of honor, celebrating radical thought as an important cornerstone of academia.
In a letter to the Professor Watchlist's creators, more than 200 members of the University of Notre Dame's faculty requested that their own names be added, referring to individuals already on the list as "the sort of company we wish to keep."
Two notable representatives of Notre Dame—Gary Gutting of the philosophy faculty and Iris Outlaw, director of multicultural student programs and services—had been previously listed on the Watchlist site.
College students have mixed views about free speech on campus
Faculty members at the University of Chicago have also volunteered to join the Professor Watchlist. Leslie M. Kay, a professor in the department of psychology, recently created the website "Free Academics," which includes a letter to the Professor Watchlist and an option to sign. More than 1,700 individuals have signed the letter as of Thursday morning.
The letter explains that signers "support and demand our right to continue to publish and discuss our work, to call attention to injustice and false information, to challenge our students to think critically, to commit ourselves to the pursuit of truth and independent thought that defines an educated and free society" (Strauss, Washington Post, 12/14).
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