University of Central Florida: Hostile to free speech
Bring a gun to a knife fight: In January 2021 (in one of my first blacklist columns and just after Biden assumed power), I described how professor Charles Negy was fired from the teaching job he had had at the University of Central Florida for 22 years, merely because he had stated some obvious facts about BLM and affirmative action on his twitter feed.
The school claimed it did not fire him for these tweets (an obvious lie based on the events), but because of a supposed pattern of inappropriate classroom behavior obtained through anonymous tips, tips instigated by Negy’s tweets that by the way did not match any of the school’s previous assessments of his teaching.
Negy fought back, demanding his case be reviewed by an independent arbitrator, and has now won his case.
In the ruling on Monday, the arbitrator, Ben Falcigno, found that the university had failed to show “just cause” when it fired Dr. Negy because it had not given him a chance to change his conduct in the classroom or, alternatively, to show that he was incapable of changing his behavior.
Mr. Falcigno pointed out that Dr. Negy had received three awards for teaching productivity and excellence, and that his last five annual evaluations showed that he was “rated as overall outstanding.” He said the university had also given Dr. Negy a raise to persuade him not to leave.
“There is no evidence that U.C.F. gave him reason to believe he was anything but as highly esteemed as his evaluations and treatment, with no reason to perform differently,” Mr. Falcigno wrote, adding that management was now blaming him for “what it retroactively sees as serious misconduct.”
Negy will now be reinstated with full pay and benefits. He will also return to the classroom in the fall, though he fully expects (as should we all) that he will be faced with mob protests when he does.
“It’s not fun walking on to campus knowing that your colleagues won’t speak to you, but I don’t give a damn about them,” he said. “I’m going to do what I’m going do.”
This will be the next battle in today’s war for free speech and freedom. Negy might have won his case now, but come the fall the fight will resume, with the left’s storm-troopers better prepared. Will the university protect Negy, or permit the mob to silence him? My guess is that the administrators of the University of Central Florida will allow the mob to disrupt his classes and prevent him from teaching, then use those disruptions as a reason to try to fire him again.
If it does so, then maybe the legislature and governor of Florida should take a close look at the funding it gives to this public college, as well as any special legal privileges the government has given it.
Regardless of what happens in the fall, this victory now against censorship and blacklisting is indicative of what is coming. Over the next year more and more of the other lawsuits against the illegal blacklisting and discrimination and censorship that began following the George Floyd riots and accelerated with the election of Democrat Joe Biden are going to be won, again and again and again.
I will describe two more such victories in the next two days. Nor will these be the last.
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