Friday, October 21, 2016

University of Toronto Prof. Rubbishes Politically Correct University Administration

Almost exactly 30 years ago, I was appointed to a tenure track position as Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. After employment as a scientist and consultant with three governments, I had had enough of bureaucracy, and its stifling stupidity.

To be appointed to a position at Canada's greatest university, where I expected to succeed or fail solely according to my own effort and creativity was a great joy. Moreover, there were people at the University of Toronto for whom I had the greatest respect and with whom I hoped to have at least occasional contact.

My experience of the University of Toronto, however, shattered all expectations. The faculty to which I had been admitted was ruled by an bureaucracy more stifflingly stupid than any I had encountered in government on either side of the Atlantic. The opportunity for independent inquiry was nil. I was expected to be the servant of a great industry by which the faculty had been captured. My guides were to be, not the scholars and intellectuals who I admired, but public relations consultants and bureaucrats intent on meeting the approval of industry.

Under such circumstances, there was only one thing to do. I resigned three days after taking up the appointment and returned to the West coast to live happily ever after as the proprietor of a small business with clients in more than 50 countries.

In view of my experience of academia, it was a delight to hear this presentation by University of Toronto Professor Jordan B. Peterson in which he tears into a seemingly stupid and insolent administration at the University of Toronto. But the issue Professor Peterson addresses is not merely, or even primarily, stupidity in the university`s bureaucracy, but much more important, the threat that political correctness poses to a free society.

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