As reported earlier on The Torch, conservative activist and UNC-Wilmington professor Mike Adams was recently denied promotion to full professor without an explanation. After seeking a written rationale (and being promised one), Mike recently received a memo informing him that no written explanation will be issued. In it, Department Chair Kimberly Cook stated:
I am disappointed that you declined my invitation to discuss personally the decision on your promotion. My preference is to communicate this information to you in person as I have done with similar personnel decisions in this Department since starting my term as Chair. Therefore, I am writing this memo to you as a professional courtesy.
Why the reluctance to provide a written explanation? Could the department be trying to cover up the real reason Mike Adams wasn’t promoted—because of his controversial viewpoints?
Although the university has given no clear indication as to whether or not Mike is being denied promotion because of his viewpoints, it certainly looks suspicious. As for his qualifications, David French has noted over at Phi Beta Cons:
On paper, [Mike Adams] presents some rather excellent credentials. He has published more than most members of the department (something like 11 peer-reviewed papers in 12 years), and he is an excellent teacher. Uniformly high student evaluations have contributed to three teaching awards, including two Faculty Member of the Year awards from the Dean of Students. But there’s something else. This professor is also a prolific columnist and has become (by far) the most famous professor at the university. His columns reach millions, he has written a book that was widely read, he has another book on the way from a major publisher, and he regularly appears on television.
It’s ironic that modern professors—many of whom likely vehemently opposed punishing professors during the 1960s who had socialist or anti-war views—are now apparently willing to punish others with controversial views. Simply put, universities are marketplaces of ideas and shouldn’t be in the business of punishing professors with dissenting viewpoints.