Jordan Peterson voted one of 2017's Higher Ed Heroes

  • University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson took fifth place in the voting for 2017's "Higher Ed Heroes."
  • Peterson has been a vocal defender of free speech, making him a veritable bete noir of progressives, who routinely protest his speeches.
  • In one case, a teaching assistant was even reprimanded for showing a video of one of Peterson's speeches in class, which her professor compared to "neutrally playing a speech by Hitler."

Campus Reform is proud to announce that Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, was selected by readers as one of the top five Higher Ed Heroes of 2017.

Peterson has been a ferocious defender of free speech in higher education and has become a prime target of liberal activists all around the country.

In fact, Peterson’s views were deemed so controversial that some academics went as far as to punish professors who discussed or featured his views in a classroom setting. As previously reported by Campus Reform, this is precisely what happened to one Canadian teaching assistant who was reprimanded by her professor for showing a video in class featuring Peterson.

[RELATED: TA scolded for playing Jordan Peterson video in class]

Lindsay Shepherd, who is currently a graduate student at the Waterloo, Ontario school, reportedly played a video of a debate between Peterson and University of Toronto Sexual Diversity Studies program lecturer Nicholas Matte.

After some students complained that the video created a “toxic climate” in the classroom, Shepherd was accused of “legitimizing” Peterson’s views, and her screening of the video was compared to "neutrally playing a speech by Hitler."

The school later apologized for the incident and reaffirmed its commitment to the “principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”

Peterson, however, has also faced direct criticism from protesters and activists who frequently blast his speeches on college campuses.

In November, for example, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student government committee condemned a speech Peterson gave on campus, identifying the Canadian professor as a threat to progressivism.

[RELATED: UW-Madison student gov reps slam speech by conservative prof]

“To Peterson,” the group argued, “liberty does not start with the freedom to be who you are, with the protection of those often and tragically targeted by violence, abuse, and prejudice, but rather with the freedom for him to force unwanted labels and identities on whomever he wants to, as though others’ lives and the personal truths they come to college to accept and let shine are secondary to the convenience of his willful ignorance.”

Nevertheless, Peterson persisted in delivering his address, much to the delight of conservative students who deemed the op-ed “a complete mischaracterization of Peterson’s beliefs.”

Stay tuned as Campus Reform announces the rest of 2017’s top five Higher Ed Heroes!

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Nikita Vladimirov | Correspondents Editor

Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.

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