Tenured conservative professor retires due to liberal persecution
After enduring harassment, persecution, and discrimination for allowing students to attend an optional event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, a conservative professor has resigned from California State University, Northridge.
Because he resigned just three years into his tenure, now-former CSUN English professor Robert Lopez forfeit his rights to both tenure and pension privileges.
In an opinion piece for the The Daily Caller, Lopez states that he worked under a dean for eight years who hated him for “celebrating the beauty and glory of chastity and Biblical love,” adding, “I could not have my relationship with Jesus Christ and this job simultaneously.”
As Lopez recounts in his article, the extent to which he was bullied and harassed for his conservative beliefs eventually became more than he was willing to handle, primarily as the result of a massive Title IX investigation over an event that occurred on Oct. 3, 2014.
Lopez had independently organized the event to discuss children’s rights in the context of a dual-parent upbringing, and gave his students the option to attend the “Bonds that Matter” event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for course credit in place of an alternative assignment.
According to a blog post written by Lopez, 110 students chose to attend the conference rather than completing a reflection journal for equivalent credit, yet one student alleged she was “discriminated against on the basis of her gender,” asserting in a formal complaint that Lopez did not mention the “biased viewpoints” that would be mentioned at the event, therefore “misrepresenting” the nature of the program.
“It appears that the allegations against me can be summarized thus: Because I did not warn women and gays not to attend the conference I organized, I caused them to come unprepared for dangerous ideas,” Lopez wrote in a letter responding to the complaint on June 17. “In other words, the students allege the conference was sufficiently discriminatory against gays that they would have needed trigger warnings before going.”
Lopez told Campus Reform he was called into the Office of the Provost on May 11, where the Provost alluded to the disciplinary option that was still open and undecided from the “Bonds that Matter” case. “He told me if I raised objections then he would decide the punishment on that old case,” Lopez said.
According to Lopez, it was a culmination of events that transpired throughout his eight years at CSUN that led to his resignation.
“During the month of April so many things transpired, it was just clear that I had to leave,” Lopez told Campus Reform. “There was a reprimand that was placed claiming that I didn’t do work on this committee, but in my document I did all the work. There was a professor who sent me an email and there was a link to gay pornography and I had realized my email had been hacked.”
Since he received his tenure in 2013, Lopez has been vocal about his conservatism and the persecution he has received due to the nature of his beliefs. In October, 2013 Lopez wrote a piece for American Thinker titled“The Devil Comes Home to Cal State Northridge” in which he recalls an instance when his colleague compared him to Hitler.
“I confessed that I admired Palin to a colleague, and he immediately compared me to Hitler,” Lopez wrote.
After that encounter, Lopez said strange things started to occur. Applications for teaching support, course release, and various benefits were rejected, and he was also removed from faculty groups including the Center for Sex and Gender Research.
The most common type of harassment Lopez received, however, were strings of emails that he said began with “‘it has come to our attention’ and ended with some threat to punish me for the slightest deviation from the most picayune and arcane university regulations.”
In addition to these threats, Lopez claims in a more-recent American Thinker op-ed that he believed he was being spied on in his own office by his colleagues.
“It had become clear to me that someone had been going through the documents on my computer and hacked into my personal email accounts through the desktop at work,” he wrote, observing that “someone must have physically entered my office, having obtained the key from staff, or gotten into the hard drive through the network cables.”
In an email Lopez received from a faculty member, he was told that if he were to drop dead, students would not care, and that like a falling tree he does not exist, he told Campus Reform.
That particular email was sent in response to a podcast featuring two Latino, conservative, pro-life students that Lopez had posted. Lopez said he originally thought it was a small number of colleagues who were hostile to him, but eventually reached a point where he realized that he had no allies and no one defending him.
“It was not a hard decision for me to leave in terms of I knew I couldn’t stay there and still feel good about me and my job and my work,” Lopez said. “No one does all that work to get tenure with the intent of leaving. It was a painful decision.”