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Please begin with an informative title:

It's tempting to celebrate the news that Dinesh D'Souza has been forced to resign his position as president of King's College in New York.

After all, D'Souza was the author of the maliciously inaccurate book about higher education, Illiberal Education (see my book The Myth of Political Correctness for an analysis of his many errors). And D'Souza recently got rich with the implausible“documentary” 2016 attacking Barack Obama using a third-rate conspiracy theory about anti-colonialism. And D'Souza has no qualifications for an academic job, let alone his reportedly million-dollar salary as president of a college.

Moreover, D'Souza's downfall comes as a result of the usual conservative hypocrisy, apparently having an affair with a much younger right-wing female blogger, who has written incoherently about “the feminists/liberals who intended to destroy and transform that sacred cornerstone of American society—the traditional family.”  

But as much as I hate D'Souza, I cannot agree with the idea that anyone at a university should be fired for engaging in alleged adultery.

King's College does have an extremely repressive speech code (pdf) that include this bizarre rule: “The King’s College promotes a lifestyle consistent with biblical teaching: sexual intercourse is a gift from God to be enjoyed within a married, monogamous, heterosexual relationship. With the exception of married students, sexual intercourse is not allowed on The King’s College campus or student housing....”

It's hard to believe that D'Souza meets this standard, but the fault lies with this repressive code, not D'Souza. No college should regulate the consensual sexual activity of its students or staff. D'Souza only got his job because of the right-wing politics of King's College and its failure to uphold high intellectual standards. But he should not be fired because of the failure of King's College to embrace the fundamental standards of academic freedom and the liberty of students and staff to choose how to live their lives.

Crossposted at Academe Blog.


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