Jewish professor fired after alleging anti-Semitism. A new report finds wrongdoing at the university.
Linfield University fired Jewish professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner after he accused the university president of anti-Semitism.
After investigating, the American Association of University Professors found that the school violated the professor's academic freedom.
Now, an April 2022 investigation has found that "in summarily dismissing Professor Pollack-Pelzner from the faculty, the Linfield administration also violated the university’s own regulations."
Pollack-Pelzner found out he was fired as his laptop froze and generated an error message followed by an automatic reply sent from his own university email account notifying him of his termination from the school, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reported last year.
That incident followed a twenty-three-part Twitter thread he posted alleging corruption and anti-Semitism in the school’s administration.
The moment I knew that nothing would come of my claims that the @LinfieldUniv President and Board Chair had religiously harassed me was when I went to the head of HR, and she said: “Personally, I don’t believe the Jews have a secret agenda to grab power at all!” (1/23)
— Daniel Pollack-Pelzner (@pollackpelzner) March 29, 2021
Pollack-Pelzner claimed that the Linfield University “President and Board Chair had religiously harassed me,” and that the school failed to act on alleged instances of sexual assault and hateful messages painted on campus.
He also alleged that University President and Chair of the Board of Trustees Miles Davis had made anti-Semitic comments about Jewish noses, made jokes about sending Jews to gas chambers, and accused the Jewish professor of conspiring to grab power on the board.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) investigated Linfield University following the 2021 chain of events, and released the nineteen-page report on their findings earlier this month, stating that “[g]eneral conditions for academic freedom and shared governance at Linfield University are deplorable.”
The AAUP concluded that the school’s dismissal of the formerly tenured professor violated the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, Regulations 8 and 5a of the Recommended Institutional Regulations, as well as Linfield’s own regulations, of which Davis told The Chronicle of Higher Education he was unaware.
Pollack-Pelzner’s dismissal “jeopardized the faculty’s exercise of academic freedom and contributed to a culture of abuse,” according to the report.
After initially denying having made any anti-Semitic comments to the professor, Miles Davis admitted to making the comment about Jewish noses.
When Pollack-Pelzner brought his concerns to the Linfield University head of human relations, she allegedly told him, “Personally, I don’t believe the Jews have a secret agenda to grab power at all” and that she had “a Jewish neighbor who was the nicest man, and he would never try to grab power or anything like that.”
In his Twitter thread, he said this was the moment he realized nothing would come of his claims of harassment.
Linfield continues to deny Pollack-Pelzner’s allegations.
Linfield University Media and Public Relations Manager Eric Howald sent Campus Reform a statement from Associate Vice President Scott Nelson stating, "Contrary to the AAUP’s position, Linfield University unequivocally supports academic freedom and faculty tenure."
"We also take all allegations of misconduct seriously and are committed to creating and fostering a learning and working environment in which all members of the community feel physically and emotionally safe and can thrive," the statement continued.
Campus Reform reached out to Miles Davis and Daniel Pollack-Pelzner for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow @PeterCordi on Twitter