Restricted Washington and Lee University

Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
He is wrong to equate recognizing someone for saving a college on the edge of ruin with white supremacy, as it ignores what he was recognized for.

I don't disagree that people who are wrong often continue to pursue what they are wrong about....that's what agenda's do
 
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lurid

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Who forced him to work at Washington and Lee? Seriously, this guy should stop being such a martyr. If it's so horrendous to him, he should quit. Despite what he seems to believe based on his rant, it's a free country. No one's stopping him from walking out the door and seeking employment elsewhere.
Anderson, you made the most sense in this thread. Anyway, you are correct in saying he should quit, and I'll go as far as saying he should have studied for his degree and applied for employment at a university that fits his narrative. In other words, he knew what he was getting himself into, so he should keep his unsolicited opinions to himself. I bet you that he never expressed how he really felt on his application. No, he knew better, he just waited to get tenure and for this woke movement to gain some momentum before he spouted out his true feelings about the university.

If you are well observant you would have noticed or picked up on that Foreverfree said that the prof was a duel stakeholder at W & L, but he got it backwards. If anyone was a duel stakeholder it was the university by accepting his admissions to the university and subsequently receiving his application for employment. FF's humorous experiments make zero sense in regards to tenure at a university, there is a difference between freedom of speech and academic freedom. Here's the basic difference between academic freedom and the First Amendment: First Amendment rights are individual, but academic freedom applies to a discipline, meaning a community of inquiry. He is a law professor, not a sociology or race relations professor discussing the origins of the university's name in a classroom, so he stepped out of academic freedom and the protection of the university and exercised his freedom of speech to criticize the university.

There is a balance between academic freedom and Freedom of Speech, which if a tenure prof does cross the line is subject for dismissal. Keep this in mind, a Tenure professor is not exempt from being fired, don't believe that hype. The Governance of the American Association of University Professors, is a group that strongly defends professors’ right to speak as citizens without being sanctioned. But a university can seek a dismissal if a professor’s speech – even outside of the classroom or university setting, raises “grave doubts” about fitness for the position. So, speaking critical publicly about the name of Washington and Lee could lead to his dismissal. Tenure profs do not have blanket protection to say or do what they want, period. That is a myth...Free Speech in universities sometimes undermines academic practices. Every time a professor badmouths a university he or she are hurting the brand and damaging the value of your degree(s). That one comment a person makes can lead prospective students to change their mind about attending, cause enrollments to drop, leaving employers questioning the value of the education provided.

I think that person crossed the line...
 

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
I will add that I, too, am a dual stakeholder in the school district where I teach because I live and pay taxes to that same district. I can assure you, had I gone on to publicly criticize the district I can, and will likely, see my contract terminated. In fact, we've seen this happen in regards to what we post on social media.
 

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
I should clarify...I teach at a public school. Washington and Lee is a private institution with a lot more flexibility. They can likely fire the professor for cause (or no cause if Virginia is an at-will state).

With that said, I doubt the university will as it will generate even more backlash. Though I side here with the majority that I believe he spoke out of turn. He can choose where he attends school and where he accepts employment. He's not restricted in that. Basic moral, don't bite the hand that feeds you.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
I should clarify...I teach at a public school. Washington and Lee is a private institution with a lot more flexibility. They can likely fire the professor for cause (or no cause if Virginia is an at-will state).

With that said, I doubt the university will as it will generate even more backlash. Though I side here with the majority that I believe he spoke out of turn. He can choose where he attends school and where he accepts employment. He's not restricted in that. Basic moral, don't bite the hand that feeds you.
I'm at a private school. I would have lost my job, and as I said above, would have felt in any case that level of public criticism to be unethical for an employee.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I get the impression that many of the posters feel this professor should have been fired for giving his opinion. That would have been an overreaction, imo. It's better just to let all the stakeholders weigh in, and let the debate be transparent.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
I get the impression that many of the posters feel this professor should have been fired for giving his opinion. That would have been an overreaction, imo. It's better just to let all the stakeholders weigh in, and let the debate be transparent.
Do you think there is a difference between giving your opinion, along with other "stakeholders," as the decision is being reached, and publicly rebuking your board of trustees as racist white supremacists after they have made their decision?
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Do you think there is a difference between giving your opinion, along with other "stakeholders," as the decision is being reached, and publicly rebuking your board of trustees as racist white supremacists after they have made their decision?
Your premise is that a decision has been made and there will be no further discussion. My impression is that the school made changes in 2016, 2018, and now 2021, and that there are people who are intending to continue pressing for change.

So there is a continuing discussion and debate. Let them figure it out.
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Do you think there is a difference between giving your opinion, along with other "stakeholders," as the decision is being reached, and publicly rebuking your board of trustees as racist white supremacists after they have made their decision?
I reread what Professor Hasbrouck wrote after reading your post. He didn't call the board "racist white supremacists". He referred to them as "mostly white" and "mostly male". He did talk extensively about the history of white supremacy and suggested that it influenced the board's decision through some major donors.

I am not necessarily agreeing with what Professor Hasbrouck wrote, but I am defending his right to speak. In this case, with what is happening in America right now as well as in the Canadian province I live in, I think it is very important that we listen to all "stakeholders" who talk about white supremacy even when we don't agree with what they say or the way they say it.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
I reread what Professor Hasbrouck wrote after reading your post. He didn't call the board "racist white supremacists". He referred to them as "mostly white" and "mostly male". He did talk extensively about the history of white supremacy and suggested that it influenced the board's decision through some major donors.

I am not necessarily agreeing with what Professor Hasbrouck wrote, but I am defending his right to speak. In this case, with what is happening in America right now as well as in the Canadian province I live in, I think it is very important that we listen to all "stakeholders" who talk about white supremacy even when we don't agree with what they say or the way they say it.
My apologies. I wrote my post from memory and should have double checked. What Prof. Hasbrouck wrote was, "That vote ... signaled that Washington and Lee University will continue to shine as a beacon of racism, hate, and privilege."

I absolutely agree that he has the right to speak (and write) his mind, before, during, and after any decision, which, as @DanSBHawk points out, can very well be revisited and reversed.

I don't agree with his ethics, choosing to attend and work for an institution he judged and evidently continues to judge a "beacon of racism, hate, and privilege," and then publicly rebuking its board, but that is based on my personal standards, which are a matter of import only to me.

I don't think that because he didn't get his own way (this time), it means the board didn't "listen to him as a stakeholder."
We are so often told these days that we need to "have a conversation" about certain matters, but if one side doesn't get its own way it seems to mean the "conversation" didn't really happen.

I think that many, many thought-provoking and "teachable" points have been made in this discussion. I have appreciated reading, pondering, and hopefully learning from all who have contributed.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
Your premise is that a decision has been made and there will be no further discussion. My impression is that the school made changes in 2016, 2018, and now 2021, and that there are people who are intending to continue pressing for change.

So there is a continuing discussion and debate. Let them figure it out.
And there you explain why their can be no compromise on alot issues. A compromise requires two sides negotiating in good faith and intending to honor the compromise. When one side is already looking to find ways around or undo the compromise in the future even as the compromise is being made......there is obviously no good faith or honor on that side.
 
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Florida Rebel

Corporal
Joined
May 31, 2019
The thoughtful alumni and boosters of Washington and Lee Univ., along with anyone who has a good and solid knowledge of history have spoken. The school administration and trustees heard them and listened. THANK GOD OUR SIDE FINALLY WON! Hopefully this will be the beginning of a NEW era - especially in VA, where common sense might prevail once again and numerous people of the 21st century will stop judging everyone by their standards and trying to re-write history their way. Enough is enough.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
And there you explain why their can be no compromise on alot issues. A compromise requires two sides negotiating in good faith and intending to honor the compromise. When one side is already looking to find ways around or undo the compromise in the future even as the compromise is being made......there is obviously no good faith or honor on that side.
That sounds a lot like the Slave states in the decades leading up to the war. Compromises never seem to last forever.

When did the name-change advocates agree to accept whatever decision the board made, as a "compromise?" Show me where they said that any decision the board made would be fine with them.
 
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Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
That sounds a lot like the Slave states in the decades leading up to the war. Compromises never seem to last forever.

When did the name-change advocates agree to accept whatever decision the board made, as a "compromise?" Show me where they said that any decision the board made would be fine with them.
Would say it does, as the south had lost any confidence in the north to negotiate in good faith, to the point they decided they would be better off without them.

Again compromise is pointless, if everytime the issue is supposedly settled, it isn't honored.

I don't know, what do you think the professor offered as a compromise? If it's his way or the highway, he should hit the highway as his way lost.

It does appear some only want or advocate "compromise" when one side is supposed to give, but never seem to suggest the other has to give as well......that's how compromise actually works. Here it seems the name change for the chapel was gave by one side, so not seeing why the other side shouldn't accept giving on the college name, otherwise it's only one side that actually was willing to try to compromise.
 
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DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Would say it does, as the south had lost any confidence in the north to negotiate in good faith, to the point they decided they would be better off without them.

Again compromise is pointless, if everytime the issue is supposedly settled, it isn't honored.

I don't know, what do you think the professor offered as a compromise? If it's his way or the highway, he should hit the highway as his way lost.

It does appear some only want or advocate "compromise" when one side is supposed to give, but never seem to suggest the other has to give as well......that's how compromise actually works. Here it seems the name change for the chapel was gave by one side, so not seeing why the other side shouldn't accept giving on the college name, otherwise it's only one side that actually was willing to try to compromise.
In other words, you're not aware of any discussion of acceptable compromises on the part of the name-change advocates. So the "bad faith" accusation appears to be groundless.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
This result is merely another delaying action in a long retreat over the years.

It's not over.

And it never will be, because the side that wants to erase and rewrite history is never satisfied. When they win a fight, they immediately make further demands. I've seen it happen time and time again. Archie is correct, this is not a discussion being made in good faith here, this is a demand for unconditional surrender. If down the road the surrender is made and Lee's name is removed from the school, we'll see the goalposts moved and yet another demand made. How long until Lee will have to be disinterred from the burial vault in the chapel, for example? I fully expect that demand to be made at some point.
 

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
In other words, you're not aware of any discussion of acceptable compromises on the part of the name-change advocates. So the "bad faith" accusation appears to be groundless.

See Mr. Leigh's quote from The Generals Redoubt, below, emphasis mine.

(The following is a response by The Generals Redoubt to the press release from W&L above. The Redoubt is an alumni group working to preserve traditions at W&L.)


4 June 2021

To the Trustees of Washington and Lee University:

The Washington and Lee University’s Board of Trustees reaffirmation of the name of the university, announced today, was the correct and responsible decision. The Generals Redoubt applauds the strong support of the Trustees for this action, and we are hopeful that it will permanently remove this issue from future consideration.

Washington and Lee University is nationally recognized as one of the preeminent small liberal arts colleges in the United States. Its well-established and iconic brand is one of its most highly prized assets. We are pleased the Board of Trustees recognized the potential harm that could result from a name change.

We understand our namesakes may be controversial when viewed by today’s standards, but we believe it is important to view them both within their historical context – acknowledge their flaws but also recognize their contributions to the ongoing life and excellence of the university.

Any attempt to erase history in the name of ‘political correctness’ is simply wrong. The goal of the university should be to educate students to learn and critically challenge issues both past and present through a free exchange of ideas without fear or intimidation.

We believe it is time to put the matter of changing the name behind us, once and for all, and look ahead to the future and the continued success of Washington and Lee University. The Generals Redoubt is prepared to contribute to that effort.

In that regard, there are parts of the Board of Trustee announcement with which we disagree, particularly the statement that the university has in the past promoted or supported the “veneration of the Confederacy and its role in perpetuating ‘The Lost Cause’ myths which sustain racism.” The Board offers no evidence for this statement, and we believe it is fundamentally untrue.

  • We believe that the portraits of our two namesakes should have been maintained on the diplomas, particularly in light of the fact that the Board itself, in an earlier part of their statement, explained the notable contributions of these two men and why we should honor and respect them.
  • The Lee Chapel is named after Robert E. Lee because he conceived of the idea of a school wide chapel, built it, and he and his family are buried there. In honoring Robert E. Lee’s memory through the naming of the chapel, we do not believe the university is, in any way, promoting the Confederacy, “The Lost Cause”, or racism.
  • Founders’ Day is an effort to honor not only our namesakes, but also all of our founders. Within the last three years the university itself has suggested that Founders’ Day should be expanded to focus, not just on George Washington and Robert E. Lee, but on all of our founders and prominent figures. The university has described this as an educational opportunity for students and for the entire Washington and Lee community. There may be an argument to move the date of Founders’ Day, but there is absolutely no need to remove it.
All of the proposed changes to campus symbols, buildings, and practices are, in our opinion, further manifestations of the “erase history” and “cancel culture” movements which have proliferated at Washington and Lee and in the broader culture in the last few years. At W&L, this has consisted of removing portraits of George Washington and Robert E. Lee from the Lee Chapel which were considered too “martial” in nature, walling off the recumbent statue of Lee during university events, and, perhaps most egregiously, removing the name of one of the university’s most important and positive figures, John Robinson, from a front campus building.

We have opposed all of the above decisions, just as we oppose the current ones listed above, and we will continue to do so. At the same time, we recognize that the Board has the authority to make such decisions just as they have the authority to make the decision to retain the name of the university. Again, we applaud that decision, and support the Board, not only in their decision, but also in their effort to chart the best path forward for Washington and Lee.

With the name-change issue now settled, The Generals Redoubt will continue its focus on preserving and honoring the traditions, history, culture and educational excellence of the University.

Respectfully,

Thomas P. Rideout ‘63

President
The Generals Redoubt

I don't know...it seems to me TGR recognized the board's compromise on various naming disputes, respectfully disagreed with some of them (in a formal letter, not a ranting, accusatory op-ed piece), and expressed their hope that the matter could be now closed.

It sounds like a peaceful and respectful acceptance of not getting their way in every matter, but willing to respectfully accept the compromise.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
And it never will be, because the side that wants to erase and rewrite history is never satisfied. When they win a fight, they immediately make further demands. I've seen it happen time and time again. Archie is correct, this is not a discussion being made in good faith here, this is a demand for unconditional surrender. If down the road the surrender is made and Lee's name is removed from the school, we'll see the goalposts moved and yet another demand made. How long until Lee will have to be disinterred from the burial vault in the chapel, for example? I fully expect that demand to be made at some point.
"Further demands?" The website of the name-change advocates says they had 4 requests, 3 of which were approved. And they say they will continue to push for the 4th request. What "further demands?"

They're being very open and transparent about their campaign, so I don't see how the bad faith charge applies.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
See Mr. Leigh's quote from The Generals Redoubt, below, emphasis mine.



I don't know...it seems to me TGR recognized the board's compromise on various naming disputes, respectfully disagreed with some of them (in a formal letter, not a ranting, accusatory op-ed piece), and expressed their hope that the matter could be now closed.

It sounds like a peaceful and respectful acceptance of not getting their way in every matter, but willing to respectfully accept the compromise.
I was referring to the name-change advocates. Did they say they would accept and live with a compromise?

Here is the last paragraph of the letter they wrote to the university detailing their 4 requests:

The Board sets the tone for the University. We commit to support the Board and the University with our time, energy, and money as it makes these critical improvements with a sense of intentionality, purpose, and urgency.
https://www.notunmindful.org/a-summary-of-our-requests/our-letter-to-the-board/

It sounds to me like they are planning, and have always been planning, to continue to advocate for these issues until completion.
 
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