On Friday, the members of the American Association of University Professors at Northern Arizona University met to discuss their concerns that appeared to be related to a recent article about Assistant Professor Heather Martel and a student with a Bible.
The group met the day after Campus Reform reported on a recording of a faculty member asking a student, prior to the start of Martel’s class, to put his Bible away because the sight of a Bible made Martel uncomfortable.
Campus Reform received the recording from the Kevin Cavanaugh for Congress campaign. In it, student “Mark Holden explains the situation to History Department Chair Derek Heng, who had been called in by the instructor, Dr. Heather Martel, after Holden had refused her request that he put his Bible away.”
The Campus Reform article points out that Holden “had arrived early to his U.S. history course and, as usual, used the spare time to read his Bible, but claims that Martel had objected to the routine because she didn’t want to see a Bible in front of her.”
NAU, a state university with a less-than-sterling academic standing, has earned considerable negative publicity this year due to the antics of its less-than-top-drawer instructors like Martel.
In March, Professor Anne Scott made news when she penalized NAU student, Cailin Jeffers for using the term “mankind” when referring to humanity.
According to the Campus Reform article on that incident, Scott told Jeffers that ‘mankind’ only refers to men.
It was Jeffers who first told Holden’s story on the James T. Harris show. In that interview, Jeffers said that Holden was “kicked out of class for criticizing Islam and reading his bible 15 minutes before class started.” [Listen to the interview here]
Because NAU has developed a reputation for offering mostly non-rigorous degrees, it has become a haven for educators and students with too much time on their hands and little of substance on their minds.
Aside from being annoyed by conservative students, faculty is angry at NAU’s administration. NAU’s student newspaper, The Lumberjack, reported that “NAU has hired 30 more administrators and spent $6 million more on administrator salaries since 2005, according to a study shared at the Contingent Faculty Conference. This discrepancy outrages the contingent faculty who say that others are not seeing equal benefits.”
The aforementioned lack of rigor, the current national campaign to stomp out contrary word and thought, and disgruntled faculty has made NAU and other universities the perfect foils for politicians, pundits and clever students.
NAU’s conservative students have not had the same opportunity to creatively mock their mad professors like the Yale College Republicans did last week when they set up a barbecue next to a faux hunger strike by the graduate student union, Local 33. However, Cavanaugh has been able to seize on the faculty’s missteps and he is prepared for their attacks.
On the same day the Campus Reform article came out about Martel, Cavanaugh issued a press release entitled How the Left Will Attack Kevin Cavanaugh. It reads in part:
First, they already play the victim card. They will double down on it. As we start mentioning specifics, possibly including faculty names, they will claim that we are making victims out of the professors because we mentioned their names publicly. Some of them will fictitiously claim to be getting death threats because we mentioned them, just as they did recently when a student released a recording of a leftists professor giving a presentation. We have no intention of backing down.
They will draw on student and faculty “witnesses” to back up their claims of “harassment.” At a recent meeting attended by our team at NAU about ‘Safe Spaces,’ the professor introduced tension into the room by announcing our team and telling everyone how afraid she was, apparently as a result of our presence! The male professor sitting next to her became upset because we confused him for a liberal, he announced he was a MARXIST! They will have one problem with their claims, we will be recording every hour we spend on campus and backing this audio up to a team ready to release it. It’s hard to argue with recorded audio and video. That won’t stop them from relying on their playbook. Check out these examples: https://goo.gl/6cTjVC
They will fake hate crimes by spray-painting hate speech on their own cars, buildings, sidewalks, etc. They will vandalize property to get attention. Check out how many fake hate crimes occur by similar leftists on college campuses: https://goo.gl/qDF39L and https://goo.gl/FiSFJW. NAU leftists will be doing the similar things. They might very well pull a Berkeley University riot to “stand against hate speech,” even though we will never once use hate speech.
When these accusations against us start coming, remember that we warned you ahead of time. The left uses the same playbook…always. They need to keep one thing in mind: Our team does not consist of typical Republicans. We fight to win and we fight to expose. Much more is coming.
The ADI reached out to the American Association of University Professors at Northern Arizona University at firstname.lastname@example.org with a few questions including:
1) “Students record, report, and tweet lectures to right-wing social media.” Can you explain why this is worthy of note? Isn’t it the students’ right to do this? If it is problematic, how is it problematic?
2) A list of hyperbolic/threatening quotes are listed. Are you aware of similar statements made to conservative students?
3) What part of the governance agreement was not enforced?
4) How does the conflict of interest policy degrade academic discourse?
The ADI has not received a response to our inquiry.
However, the ADI was able to contact an instructor at a prestigious university, who advised off the record, that she/he does not allow recording of her/his lectures. She/he said that while she/he says nothing controversial in her/his STEM classes, she/he does not want students, who do not attend her/his classes to benefit from those students who do and might record them. According to the instructor, it is normally professors in the “Grievance Studies” field that object to recordings because they do not want to be held responsible for what they teach – or more preach.
The instructor would say that she/he did not consider recording a class an act of aggression, but simply a violation of class policy.