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ASU now allows political emails
They face a dilemma
ASU is investigating faculty use of ASU resources to voice personal political opinions about the “Health, Wealth, and Happiness” event featuring Charlie Kirk, Dennis Prager, and Robert Kiyosaki. ASU’s Academic Affairs Manuel prohibits the use of university assets for personal purposes:
Examples include but are not limited to using university assets for personal or non-ASU purposes;
And it requires that when an academic professional speaks about personal opinions, they write as a private citizen and not representing their school. Professors are not to speak on behalf of their school as these professors did.
When a faculty member, academic professional, or postdoctoral scholar writes a letter to the editor or a column for a newspaper, to an electronically distributed news source, to public officials, to others, or a blog about a matter that does not relate to that individual’s responsibility in the university, the faculty member or academic professional must write as a private citizen.
The ASU Code of Ethics prohibits discrimination against political opinions and the use of the classroom to harass or influence students:
Code of Ethics ACD 204-1
discrimination against a student on political grounds . . . use of the position of power to coerce the judgment or conscience of a student or to cause harm to a student for arbitrary or personal reasons
This summer, evidence was presented to the Arizona Legislature showing professors using ASU email and class time to libel conservative speakers and intimidate students. ASU promised to look into the matter. There will be another hearing in September.
But the impression so far is that ASU’s position is that people use their work email for everything so it isn’t a problem that professors use it to harass conservatives and promote leftist political agendas. If this ends up being ASU’s position before the Az Legislature, they have opened a Pandora’s box and face a dire dilemma. Here it is:
If they permit leftist use of ASU email, they must permit all political use of email (otherwise, they are discriminating).
So their dilemma is that if they do nothing in this case, they can do nothing when ASU email is used for conservative political purposes. Or, if they do not want ASU email used to promote personal conservative politics, then they must do something in this case.
ASU seems fearful to correct the wrong behavior of faculty surrounding the “Health, Wealth, and Happiness” event. This might be because ASU is investigating itself and, surprise surprise, finds ASU did nothing wrong. It might be because ASU administrators are sympathetic to leftist politics but would have no problem disciplining conservatives who misuse ASU email. Or it might be that ASU knows it has hardly any conservative faculty, so the ratio of leftist use of ASU resources and conservative use of ASU resources will be highly in favor of leftist politics.
Parents, students, donors, and legislators, keep an eye on what ASU reports next month. It will tell you the direction of the university. That is, if we don’t already know.