Professor Rafael Luque: A model for us all.
Professor Rafael Luque: A model for us all.
It took a judge ruling Matthew Harris too insane to go on trial to stop the upward trajectory of this man’s academic career.
A trail of red flags about his behavior toward women followed him throughout his academic journey to UCLA. In online class reviews, interviews and emails obtained last year by The Associated Press, current and former students at all three universities alleged negligence by the schools for letting Harris slide, despite his concerning conduct.
Here are my posts about him. An extremely obvious crazy person, sending out vile threats to female students, leaps from one great academic job to another. How ’bout that. UD thinks a class action suit might help all of these schools focus productively on their negligence; she also thinks the enthusiastic dissertation chair in the case should be handed a punitive year away without pay, during which he must take a basic criminology/psychology course in the characteristics of psychopathology. The bit where the model student/psychopath whips out his gun and blows away all the women in his class didn’t have a chance to happen in this case, but there may well be other dangerous madmen, and the dissertation chair needs help before getting enthusiastic and passing those along too.
The lad was found with ammunition, but
[Harris] attempted to buy a “bodyguard revolver” at the Silver Bullet Shooting Range in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
The purchase was denied.
So the gun was still a work in progress. But you and I know that, if the law hadn’t come sniffing around, he would have gotten one somehow.
As for the larger academic village that made the world safe for this madman… oy. UD is currently tossing her hands up in the air. A whole lot needs to change for professors and administrators to acquire the balls to identify and dismiss politically trendy psychopaths.
Enter, peons, and creatively write! First, though, sign this contract acknowledging my Singular Creative Writing Greatness and your willingness to flunk my course if you deviate AT ALL from my commandments, to which you sign your name! I and I alone will tell you how to creatively write, for there is only one way, and that is the way of The Great And Powerful Salesses!
If you’re having trouble grasping Fussell on the phenomenon of X’s, consider Philip Dybvig.
[I play] instruments such as the erhu and the hulusi. I also enjoy weightlifting, Taiji, Qigong, Tui Shou (push hands), and walking…
Professor Dybvig’s leisure time is spent playing and composing music, cooking, playing taijiquan, and lifting weights.
Manifold are the ways universities fuck with statistics so they can get higher US News rankings, and it’s just Columbia’s bad luck that it hired its own petard… I mean, someone at the school actually hired the math prof who figured out Columbia had to be cheating AND PUBLICIZED THE FACT ON HIS FACULTY WEBSITE. Now, months later, the school admits yeah we did that thing and we promise to stop.
UD‘s heart skips a beat when she realizes that this hugely intriguing figure was for years just across campus from her GWU office! A bona fide lecturer/researcher in the university’s medical school despite allegedly having lied about a number of his degrees, this man held on to his GW position while telling his boss Trump – or those close to him – that Fauci had to be fired, and that hydroxychloroquine was the solution to coronavirus. (Also involved in Trump administration hydroxychloroquine pushing: The Pride of New Jersey, Mehmet Oz.) He seems at the moment rather close to being in contempt of Congress, though I’m trying to update this information. He appears to be a “big lie” co-conspirator. He also seems to have used his personal GW email account for official WH communications.
Dr. Hatfill exchanged more than 1,000 messages using his George Washington University email account with senior officials in the Trump White House, federal agencies, private companies related to procurement and supply chain issues, and others about the federal government’s pandemic response. In one email to an unidentified White House employee, Dr. Hatfill misleadingly stated: “States favorable to Trump have a lower COVID Case Fatality Rate than the Fucktard states that do not.”
SH doesn’t seem to be at GW anymore; but the question I’ve got is why such a person was ever there in the first place. Surely GW is as we speak asking itself that question.
And then there was [Colin Blakemore’s] rapier-sharp wit. We recall when a visiting professor, one of the many world-class neuroscientists to visit his laboratory, was having a birthday. At the time, one project in Colin’s laboratory involved studying how a subpopulation of callosal projecting layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons retract their dendritic tufts that reached to the pial surface during the first week of postnatal development in the mouse. Colin’s memorable message on the birthday card was “May your tuft never retract”!
… and now, only a few months later, we get a guilty verdict and a life sentence for his girlfriend, who Adelson apparently paid to put together the conspiracy to murder Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.
Markel had to die because he sought shared custody of his children by Adelson’s sister, and this annoyed Adelson. He allegedly had two thug friends of his girlfriend blast his head off.
Ja, ja, wheels of justice… UD only hopes they nail Adelson (and his mother?) before Markel’s elderly parents die.
Clarence Thomas is too busy with this and that to teach at UD‘s GW anymore. The instructor of the formerly co-taught course writes:
“For those of you still interested in taking the course, I assure you that we will make the best of the new situation.”
Indeed he will. Apparently John Eastman will step in for Thomas, giving GW law students exclusive access to the constitutional foundations and legal rationales for the position that the vice-president of the United States alone determines who the country’s president will be. Eat your heart out, Harvard!
Amy Wax is one big pain in the ass. A bombastic white supremacist, she likes to spoon with Tucker Carlson and pant about the beautiful paleskin future.
She is also a walking advertisement for the perils of tenure, because U Penn can’t think of any way to get rid of this every day/every way embarrassment. She’s eminent, see, with spectacular credentials (Yale College! Harvard med! Columbia Law!) and impressive research. As with her Harvard doppelganger, Adrian Vermeule, you can’t just toss berserk brahmins out on their behinds; but you do need to find some way to sorta neutralize them until they die or leave (Wax is almost seventy, and getting nuttier by the minute; Vermeule, at 54, has many years of Harvard-havoc-wreaking ahead of him). What to do? Free speech being what it is, what to do?
Well, Penn has lately pulled together a faculty committee to review her years of vile banter, with an eye toward rigging up some sort of official justification for booting her. She’s so out of touch with their institutional ethos that she is actually a force of destruction, especially in regard to students. Something like that.
I say don’t go there. I say stuff like that imperils free speech for everyone. I say do two other things:
ANOTHER BLACK EYE FOR U PENN LAW
Professor Amy Wax once again brought shame on the school when she sat down recently with Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson and spewed disgraceful racist rhetoric.
Etc. Don’t look Ivy Leaguily away. Get down and dirty.
I don’t agree with the idea conservative lawyer Ilya Shapiro expressed in January, when he objected to President Biden’s promise to appoint a Black woman to the first Supreme Court opening. (I wrote a column attacking his position.) But rather than simply refute his easily refutable arguments, Shapiro’s critics demanded he be fired by Georgetown, which had just hired him to teach at its law center…
Georgetown’s official policy pledges to safeguard the “free and open inquiry, deliberation and debate in all matters, and the untrammeled verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas.” Protesters depicted Shapiro’s [Supreme Court] tweets as causing damage so severe they could not tolerate his continued employment.
Georgetown’s solution was to evade the contradiction. It concluded its investigation by determining Shapiro could not be punished because he had not yet begun his job at Georgetown… [In effect, Georgetown’s policy allows] anybody to claim that ideas they find offensive have harmed or threatened them, and obligates the University to punish whoever has uttered them.
Both Chait and Shapiro (who has resigned from the law school in protest) mention wild and crrrraaaazy and in absolutely good standing G’town law professor Carol Christine Fair, the Johnny Depp of tweeters (Kavanaugh hearings: “Look at this chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement. All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”), as a rather, uh, decisive argument on their side, which reminded UD that she blogged about this self-same hothead not long ago on this here blog.
[Personnel at the Frankfurt Airport] told [Fair] her deodorant was basically a liquid and she couldn’t carry it on the plane. She freaked and called them nazis, which as you may know in Germany is not at all, legally speaking, a good idea. After she was hit up with a fine, she wrote an essay blaming it on sexism (German police do this to so many women at airports!), or on a young man with a nazi haircut nearby who upset her, or some such bullshit.
So a lefty Georgetown law professor can shit her untrammeled guts out all over the place (we won’t even mention her other high-profile YOU’RE A NAZI freakout against Richard Spencer, who is indeed a fascist, but the owners and patrons of the gym where Fair did her freakout were… upset… ) (Oh, and then there’s this.) and waltz right through institutional life, while a far more trammeled … righty … well …
Interesting post-script: Professor Fair, who knows on which side her bread is buttered, strongly supports Shapiro:
Professor Fair said she was one of only a few Georgetown faculty members who signed a petition supporting Mr. Shapiro after the ruckus about his posts. And she said that without knowing him, she did not think his tweet was racist, given that “he actually put forward a person of color.”
But student complaints are “the death knell,” she said.
“I am a fundamentally principled person,” she said. “I have no patience for cancel culture. None. And I don’t care who’s arguing for the cancellation.”
G’town’s Shapiro fiasco is the beginning of a process that will eventually also gobble up Carol Christine Fair, and she knows it.
The school will be directing one billion dollars in the coming years to faculty spelling lessons.
We practice progressive stacking when calling upon people to participate in class discussion. .. [If] you are white, male, or someone privileged by the racial and gender structures of our society… we will often ask you to hold off…
UD has tried to find out more about the Binghamton University professor who put this on her syllabus, but for some reason she has been 404’d by the school, and as for her home page, fuggedaboutit.
There’s this – hasn’t been taken down yet, but now that I’ve linked to it, it might be.
The school has made her take the language off the syllabus, but it’s probably too late for Binghamton to do anything about the (legal?) complaints it’s going to be fielding. As for embarrassment about the bigot on the faculty, well, you hired her.
[One former Duke philosophy student described meetings with faculty about Matthew Harris] “as mostly unproductive.”
Faculty, for example, suggested that they hold more professional development sessions for graduate students.
“We were a little bit upset about this because this wasn’t a matter of professionalism,” the current student said. “This was a unique graduate student who was troubled and required over and above the typical graduate student’s needs.”
A madman in the department is behaving in a demented way and threatening the lives of various people.
Okay! Let’s hold another session on how you should dress for the MLA convention.
And then there’s the curiously confused thesis director/recommendation letter writer. In two news outlets now, he has described Harris as a total weenie, a terribly shy harmless sort; yet he also acknowledges that Harris wrote things like “[this thesis is] dedicated to the immediate death of all those who oppose or slow the rise of the black man” in a draft of the dissertation that ended up online.
“I don’t really know how to describe it other than just incoherent, ranting and raving,” says the thesis director.
When you read this, you – what? – put a red line through it and wrote Maybe needs revision …?
UD’s been posting for a few days on the appalling Matthew Harris story, in which a notorious and dangerous madman has been handed on from one excellent university to another, first as a grad student and then as a lecturer.
For years, several people at these schools have known or suspected that Harris is a serious threat to society, but nonetheless he has been able to leap from one academic pinnacle to another, stopped only by behavior so terrifying that he’s now in jail.
How can we account for this series of events?
Let me first quote a bit from the latest story about him.
[C]urrent and former students at all three universities alleged negligence by the schools for letting Harris slide previously, despite his concerning conduct… [H]is behavior was well known within the small [Duke] philosophy program [but two students who were in the department at the time said they] did not feel they would have been supported by faculty if they’d come forward.
Whoa. Why the hell did they feel that way? I mean, if his threatening behavior was well known, why would faculty have failed to support people who formally reported it? What a condemnation of the Duke department.
Did the students worry they would be accused of racism if they complained about Harris?
And what of the four professors who approved Harris’s dissertation, and the professors who wrote letters of recommendation glowing enough to get Harris a job at UCLA?
A little more speculation here, if I may. I’m going to guess that no one read the thesis with much care, or indeed interacted much with Harris.
And a tad more speculation, please. I’m going to guess that influential people at Cornell and Duke championed Harris in a way that may well have made complaining about him seem not worth the hassle.
There’s much, much more to this story, and it will almost certainly come out. We will see if UD‘s guesses have any merit to them. Meanwhile, expect lawsuits. Expect faculty resignations. Expect professors having to testify at Harris’s trial. This one’s a real mess.