Special Reports

New York University Professor On Paid Leave After Criticizing Trigger Warnings And Safe Spaces


A Liberal Studies professor from a New York University was suspended after sharing his thoughts on trigger warnings and safe spaces online. For the rest of the semester, Michael Rectenwald, 57, will be on paid leave.

The New York Post reported that the suspension came after Rectenwald went on a tirade against political correctness and student coddling. His colleagues criticized him for his "incivility." "They are actually pushing me out the door for having a different perspective," he told the publication.

On Sep. 12, the New York University professor created a secret Twitter account named the Deplorable NYU Prof. In the microblogging site, Rectenwald criticized campus trends like "safe spaces," "trigger warnings" as well as the policing of Halloween costumes.

He admitted that he decided that the account would be anonymous because he was afraid that "the PC Gestapo would ruin [him]." "I remember once on my Facebook I posted a story about a kid who changed his pronoun to 'His Majesty' because I thought it was funny," he added. "Then I got viciously attacked by 400 people. This whole milieu is nauseating. I grew tired of it, so I made the account."

Last month, he used his account to criticize "safe spaces." He also posted a photo of a flyer by NYU resident advisers, describing them as having "gone mad." Afterwards, he was being hunted by an army of "social justice warriors."

According to Breitbart, a 12-person faculty committee was created to deconstruct the professor's criticisms. "As long as he airs his views with so little appeal to evidence and civility, we must find him guilty of illogic and incivility in a community that predicates its work in great part on rational thought and the civil exchange of ideas," the committee wrote. "We seek to create a dynamic community that values full participation. Such efforts are not the 'destruction of academic integrity' Professor Rectenwald suggests, but rather what make possible our program's approach to global studies."

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