A letter to Bucknell President Bravman:
Dear President Bravman,
I am completely disgusted to read that “A professor at Bucknell University tweeted out last week that he wished death on Rush Limbaugh,”(https://www.thecollegefix.com/professor-wishes-death-on-rush-limbaugh-attacks-republicans-on-social-media/ ) particularly after insinuating that a US House of Representatives member should be hanged last year.
First as an alumni, seeing Bucknell’s name in the context of Michael Drexler wishing death on someone in a news article that is circulated worldwide is deeply disturbing. Does anyone, let alone a professional, want to have their alma mater brought up in such a manner? Does Bucknell have plans to prevent such events in the future? Do professors have any standards that they must follow, like morality clauses in professional athlete contracts, so as to avoid painting the University in a bad light? When you see patterns of public behavior of a person wishing death on people, there should be a concern on how it reflects upon the institution and professors should, frankly, have better judgement than to do so without the need of contract terms.
A second concern is, of course, about current students and faculty at Bucknell. If someone is publicly wishing death to at least several people, I would be concerned about their stability as it relates to on-campus violence against people with whom Drexler disagrees whether they are students, faculty, administrators, or even alumni. What is Bucknell doing in order to promote a safe campus environment that is open to viewpoints, particularly those that are anti-fascist, anti-communist, anti-socialist, – in short anti-authoritarian – and pro-liberty? I am concerned that someone wishing death on people and publicly calling Professor Riley (no relation) a “white supremacist skinhead” (from the article) might be temperamentally unfit to be educating students safely.
I have to say that during my four years at Bucknell, not only did none of my professors ever wish death upon anyone or call students or other professors names, neither did the swim coaches, administrators, staff or anyone else with whom I interacted. The head swim coach (Dick Russell) insisted that when we went to swim meets, both home and away, we “look neat and clean” (nice shirt, (often) ties, no scruffiness) because we were “representing Bucknell”. Professors today should have as much sense as he did. Which leads to my next question.
How lax are the current hiring standards that Bucknell is hiring and promoting to tenured professor people who are immature and immorally evil that they would wish death on someone in a public forum where they are associated with Bucknell? Does Bucknell do anything to promote tolerance among faculty members and promote mental health of faculty members who are advocating violence among sitting members of Congress, calling other faculty members vile names and wishing death on public figures?
Seeing some of the anti-free speech protests on campus recently makes me concerned about the direction the University has taken, but I do commend the school for standing up for free speech such as allowing Heather Mac Donald to speak last year.
A University should be about civil discourse, not vile names, threats and the like whether or not you disagree with someone or not.