False Report That Resignation Was Due to DePaul Dispute

May 31, 2016

Shu-Ju (Ada) Cheng, associate professor of sociology at DePaul University, is resigning from her faculty post. And she did send a letter to the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, the president of the university, criticizing him for defending the free speech rights of Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer whose talk at DePaul was interrupted and ended early by protesters last week. On Friday, Breitbart.com (for whom Yiannopoulos writes) reported on the letter she sent and said that she resigned because of her frustration over the Yiannopoulos event. And since then she has been receiving hateful emails, many of them with many expletives and insults.

Cheng confirmed the accuracy of the words in the letter, which Breitbart.com pulled from her Facebook page before she removed it. "To believe that universities are simply neutral platforms for 'equal' exchanges of ideas, the so-called free speech rooted in the market ideology, is delusional and that positional objectivity ends up reinforcing the exact inequalities and dominant ideologies upon which this institution is built. It is a hypocrisy to believe that one can promote diversity without tackling the racism that underlines all educational institutions," she wrote to Father Holtschneider. "The incidents that took place during these past two days are just symptoms of the historical institutional racism embedded in this institution.... Your handling of this case is shameful and embarrassing. It is a lack of moral courage in the disguise of intellectual objectivity and positional neutrality."

But both Cheng and DePaul confirmed that she actually submitted her resignation months ago -- before the recent controversy -- and that her letter did not claim she was leaving because of last week's dispute.


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