Good news, everyone! Jordan Peterson has resigned from the University of Toronto.
I recently resigned from my position as full tenured professor at the University of Toronto. I am now professor emeritus, and before I turned sixty. Emeritus is generally a designation reserved for superannuated faculty, albeit those who had served their term with some distinction. I had envisioned teaching and researching at the U of T, full time, until they had to haul my skeleton out of my office. I loved my job. And my students, undergraduates and graduates alike, were positively predisposed toward me. But that career path was not meant to be. There were many reasons, including the fact that I can now teach many more people and with less interference online.
Uh, that was the only reason. He’s got a huge and gullible audience, and he’s raking in the cash. Why stick with that honorable and difficult job of teaching, when grifting pays so much better? Most of his article is about making excuses, though, none plausible.
First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked.
This is nonsense. Universities are still hiring a majority of heterosexual white people. Shall we look at the statistics from the NSF?
The share of academic doctoral positions held by women with SEH doctoral degrees increased from 26.4% in 1999 to 38.5% in 2019. Underrepresented minorities also hold a larger share of these positions than they did in 1999, although their share remains small (8.9%) and is considerably less than their share of the population, which is about a third of the U.S. population ages 18–64. The share of those in academic doctoral positions with one or more disabilities increased to 9.1%, slightly less than their share in the population (10.5%)
So a third of the minority population of the US belong to a minority, but less than 9% of the academic population are a minority. I don’t think you can argue that white students have a negligible chance of employment because black people or women are hired to the exclusion of white men. That’s obvious. Even an ignoramus like Peterson should be able to figure it out.
It’s really because they’re out to get him personally.
My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?
That’s a bit more plausible. Still, if a Peterson student applied for a position at my university, we’d first look at the work they have done, not the work of their mentor. That’s the first and most important criterion. If what they learned from Peterson was to swagger into the interview and bluster about how the trans and gay folks are prejudiced against him, then maybe that would affect their employment possibilities.
If you thought that excuse was bad, wait until you see #2.
Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough (BIPOC: black, indigenous and people of colour, for those of you not in the knowing woke). This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job.
Whoa. That’s kind of the same as #1 — his white male students can’t get employed — with the added poison of the assumption that the BIPOC hires are
utterly unqualified for the job. And if you disagree with him, then you aren’t even
remotely truthful! Peterson is a bigot, plain and simple.
All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same. And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise. Some of my colleagues even allow themselves to undergo so-called anti-bias training, conducted by supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel, lecturing inanely and blithely and in an accusatory manner about theoretically all-pervasive racist/sexist/heterosexist attitudes. Such training is now often a precondition to occupy a faculty position on a hiring committee.
It’s true: I can and have crafted such statements, where I promise that I won’t discriminate against women or minority students. It’s easy to do. I can honestly and accurately say that I will give equal opportunity to all of my students. I guess Jordan Peterson is unable to do that.
I have also taken anti-bias training, and it is required by my university before I can be on a hiring committee! However, these Human Resources personnel are supremely qualified to do that, and have an expertise that I lack. It is amazingly arrogant that Peterson would so ignorantly dismiss them.
Need I point out that implicit attitudes cannot — by the definitions generated by those who have made them a central point of our culture — be transformed by short-term explicit training? Assuming that those biases exist in the manner claimed, and that is a very weak claim, and I’m speaking scientifically here.
Yes? So? The purpose of the training is to remove roadblocks to hiring minority faculty. We’re not trying to abruptly change the prejudices of existing faculty, we want to make everyone aware of bias for the benefit of potential employees. Once again, Peterson is an uncomprehending buffoon.
Furthermore, the accrediting boards for graduate clinical psychology training programs in Canada are now planning to refuse to accredit university clinical programs unless they have a “social justice” orientation.
Oh, gosh. Other than Peterson’s knee-jerk reaction to the phrase “social justice”, what’s wrong with expecting an accredited psychology program to pay attention to social justice? So as a non-psychologist, I had to look up what that means.
According to Goodman et al. (2004), a social justice approach can be defined as “scholarship and professional action designed to change societal values, structures, politics and practices such that disadvantaged groups gain increased access to these tools of self-determination.”
Jordan wouldn’t want to give disadvantaged groups self-determination. He’s a bigot, after all!
Then we get his real bete noir. We can’t have those non-heterosexual people running around!
That, combined with some recent legislative changes in Canada, claiming to outlaw so-called “conversion therapy” (but really making it exceedingly risky for clinicians to do anything ever but agree always and about everything with their clients) have likely doomed the practice of clinical psychology, which always depended entirely on trust and privacy.
Conversion therapy doesn’t work. Not allowing clinicians to commit conversion therapy on patients is no more a violation of
trust and privacy than is banning lobotomies.
Then he goes charging off to indict Hollywood.
And for those of you who think that I am overstating the case, or that this is something limited in some trivial sense to the universities, consider some other examples: This report from Hollywood, cliched hotbed of “liberal” sentiment, for example, indicates just how far this has gone. In 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) embarked on a five-year plan (does that ring any historical bells?) “to diversify our organization and expand our definition of the best,” They did so in an attempt which included developing “new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars,” to, hypothetically, “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.” What fruit has this initiative, offspring of the DIE ideology, borne? According to a recent article, penned by Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik, but posted on former [emphasis on former] NY Times’ journalist Bari Weiss’s [fuck Bari Weiss] Common Sense website (and Weiss left the Times, because of the intrusion of radical left ideology into that newspaper, just as Tara Henley did recently, vis a vis the CBC): “We spoke to more than 25 writers, directors, and producers — all of whom identify as liberal, and all of whom described a pervasive fear of running afoul of the new dogma. … How to survive the revolution? By becoming its most ardent supporter. … Suddenly, every conversation with every agent or head of content started with: Is anyone BIPOC attached to this?”
Right. That’s why there are no movies with white actors in them.
This guy is so patently ludicrous that it’s astounding he gets published. He closes his screed by telling us that Vladimir Putin agrees with him.
Congratulations, University of Toronto! You got rid of that asshole.