The culture of abandonment at UNCW is ousting leadership – Carolina Journal

Describing a culture of silence by conservative voices at the UNCW, a trustee was forced to resign last week with an openly critical post from the Seahawk nation on Facebook. Former UNCW board member Woody White revealed what he considered to be a disturbing trend in the treatment of conservative faculties and students.

“Like many other American universities, it punishes conservative voices by looking the other way, by using double standards. By knowing that thousands of students are self-censoring but not doing anything about it, ”White wrote.

On Friday, September 24th, UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli also resigned.

University officials have said the resignation was already planned, but criticism of the university leadership came after the suicide of Conservative Professor Mike Adams last year and later online calls for violence against Republicans by a professor who was admitted to his position To retain faculty.

Mike Adams: ‘Let my people go.’

Adams, a sociology professor and vocal conservative, was forced to resign in 2020 after openly criticizing Governor Roy Cooper for closing shops and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tonight I ate pizza and drank beer with six people at a six-seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who didn’t live in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go, “Adams tweeted in May 2020.

It was certainly not the first time that Adams criticized the failings of elected officials, the university, or its liberal students and colleagues.

Adams was an outspoken conservative Christian and an arsonist in science, known for having strong positions promoting the pro-life movement and calling the Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs”. He was vocal about the lockdown and urged people to defy Cooper’s orders.

Over the years he has also criticized Women’s Studies major, on-campus LGBTQ office activities, and Muslim students, and drew the heat from faculties and students who even started the I Hate Mike Adams Day petition, which Adams himself signed.

When he was denied promotion, Adams sued the school in 2014, saying the UNCW was violating his First Amendment rights. He won a $ 700,000 settlement from the university that included a promotion to full professor.

However, following his tweet criticizing Cooper, Adams agreed to retire early but committed suicide a week before his August 2020 retirement date.

Dan Johnson: “Blow up Republicans”

A few weeks before Adams’ suicide, UNCW Associate Professor Dan Johnson posted “Blow up Republicans” on his Facebook page. He published his news on May 17, but it was reported from the Campus Reform news site and was later removed. Despite Johnson’s call to violence against others, Sartarelli reprimanded him with a letter and allowed him to remain in his position on the faculty.

Haylie Davis, a former student of Johnson, told Campus Reform that she believed the UNCW’s handling of Johnson’s case was double-standard.

“Aside from personal political preferences, I think that this matter should be treated and treated as if the word ‘Republican’ were replaced with another word. If the post said ‘Blow up women,’ ‘Blow up homosexuals,’ ‘Blow up Catholics,’ etc., ”Davis said.

When Santarelli decided to write a letter to reprimand Johnson, White did not call for Johnson’s dismissal, but instead expressed his frustration in an email to the entire board of trustees of the university.

“The problem with UNCW and almost every other university in the country is the double standard,” White wrote. “Freedom of expression is tolerated – even celebrated – if it condemns conservative thinking and speaking. If it goes the other way, conservatives will be embarrassed, canceled and bullied. Only last year our chancellor was censored by the faculty and the student body for his statements in a town hall. And he didn’t suggest anyone should be blown up. “

White refers to December 2020 when Sartarelli himself was condemned by the UNCW faculty for “lack of leadership on diversity and inclusion” and that he “initially refused to support a global social movement promoting freedom and the human rights of blacks. “

White, a Wilmington area attorney and former New Hanover District Commissioner and Senator, had two years left to appoint him to the UNCW Board of Trustees. Now House Speaker Tim Moore will begin the search for a new trustee after appointing White twice. The UNC Board of Governors will launch a nationwide search for a new UNCW Chancellor.

“With this announcement, the UNCW Board of Trustees, President Hans, and the UNC System’s Board of Governors have approximately nine months to conduct a national search for the next Chancellor,” the university’s press release said.

UNCW will celebrate its 75th anniversary in autumn 2022. White and Sartarelli were instrumental in the school’s growth and both expressed their love for the school. Sartarelli led the school through a period of growth in donations, enrollment, and educational programs, and gained national recognition.

“The success that our students, faculty, staff and alumni have achieved in recent years has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Sartarelli in a statement from the school. “I am very proud to have served the UNCW at such a crucial time in history, and I want to thank the Seahawk community for making this great university so special.”

White said he’s not throwing in the towel on school just yet, but regrets the campus trend he’s seen over the past few years.

“Despite his success in school enrollment growth and student housing, his neglect of the real issues that matter in the long run is Sartarelli’s true legacy,” he wrote.

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