Portland State philosophy prof quits in public letter calling the school a ‘Social Justice factory’

A Portland State University professor known for challenging ‘woke’ ideologies in academia has quit in a letter on Bari Weiss’s Substack, claiming that the college failed to protect him from harassment and even unfairly investigated him as it turns into a ‘social justice factory.’

Peter Boghossian was a full-time professor of philosophy at Portland State University until his resignation letter was published on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old explained he was stepping down because the university had made ‘intellectual exploration impossible’ and its only ‘inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.’

He said students and administrators were abdicating ‘the university’s truth-seeking mission’ and driving ‘intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions.’

‘I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view. Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. 

‘Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male,’ he wrote.

Portland State University did not respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com. 

Peter Boghossian, 55, accused Portland State University of violating his due process during unfair investigations, including one where he says a student suggested he beats his wife

Boghossian made his claims in a public resignation letter published on Bari Weiss’s Substack

The university scolded Boghossian for his ‘academic grievance’ study, in which he published a series of bogus articles in reputable journals, accusing him of ‘research misconduct’

Boghossian says the university failed to take action after a tenured professor interrupted his discussion with author Christina Hoff Sommers and evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying in March 2018. He also said activists pulled speaker wires from one of his panels and that someone triggered a fire alarm at another. 

Boghossian, who specialized in critical thinking, ethics and the Socratic method, is known for the Grievance Studies Affair along with James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. 

From 2017 to 2018, the trio wrote 20 papers with absurd premises related to social justice. Four of them were eventually published in reputable journals.

The’ study was meant to ‘reboot’ conversations around topics like gender, race and sexuality, the authors wrote in Aero Magazine.

‘We undertook this project to study, understand, and expose the reality of grievance studies, which is corrupting academic research,’ they said.

Among their works was an article in Cogent Social Sciences that alleged penises were the product of the human mind and responsible for climate change.

Their papers included the phrases ‘gender-performative, high fluid social construct’, ‘exclusionary to disenfranchised communities’, and ‘isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity’.

Boghossian says the university accused him of ‘not receiving approval to experiment on human subjects’ after the trio was found out by reporters at the Wall Street Journal, cutting their hoax short.


Peter Boghossian, along with James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose, published four papers based on absurd premises in reputable journals to prove the lack of standards in research.

One paper, published in Gender, Place & Culture, claimed to be based on a year observing sexual misconduct among dogs in a US park.

The paper said that parks were ‘petri dishes for canine ‘rape culture” and said people needed to be aware of the way dogs were treated depending on their gender.

The year before they had publised a paper called ‘The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,’ in the journal Cogent Social Sciences.

Another paper published in the journal Fat Studies claimed that body building is ‘fat-exclusionary’.

They published a paper in the Journal of Poetry Therapy was about feminist spirituality meetings. It was written by an algorithm.

Another paper published in peer-reviewed journal ‘Affilia’ was a rewrite of a chapter from Mein Kampf which was accepted despite going through a double peer review.

The authors claim their prank shows that higher education’s fixation with identity politics has created ‘absurd and horrific’ scholarship.

‘Shortly thereafter, swastikas in the bathroom with my name under them began appearing in two bathrooms near the philosophy department. They also occasionally showed up on my office door, in one instance accompanied by bags of feces. Our university remained silent. When it acted, it was against me, not the perpetrators.’

He also described a Title IX investigation against him in the 2016-2017 school year, when a student seemed to have accused Boghossian of beating his wife.  

‘My accuser, a white male, made a slew of baseless accusations against me, which university confidentiality rules unfortunately prohibit me from discussing further. What I can share is that students of mine who were interviewed during the process told me the Title IX investigator asked them if they knew anything about me beating my wife and children.

‘This horrifying accusation soon became a widespread rumor,’ he wrote.

‘Universities can enforce ideological conformity just through the threat of these investigations.’ 

Title IX is a 1972 civil rights law that prevents discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Boghossian’s resignation comes as a slew of school teachers and college professors leave the classroom over similar complaints of a monolithic culture that leaves no room for debate. 

Last month, Laura Morris quit in an emotional address at the Loudoun County School Board, where she explained why the ‘equity trainings’ and political dogma forced her to resign.

She said she could no longer be part of an organization that told her ‘white, Christian, able-bodied females’ needed to be reined in. 

‘This summer I have struggled with the idea of returning to school, knowing that I’ll be working yet again with a school division that, despite its shiny tech and flashy salary, promotes political ideologies that do not square with who I am as a believer in Christ,’ she said.

At $50,000-a-year Dalton in New York City, it was parents who made the first move.

‘Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity, “racist cop” reenactments in science, “de-centering whiteness” in art class, learning about white supremacy and sexuality in health class,’ parents of students at the private school wrote in a letter in April.

The head of the school, Jim Best, later resigned.

Some professors have complained that their school are not progressive enough, like when star professor Cornell West resigned from Harvard Divinity School in a letter in July. 

West accused the university of denying him a tenured position because of ‘the Harvard administration’s hostility to the Palestinian cause,’ which he supports.

‘We all know the mendacious reasons given had nothing to do with academic standards,’ he wrote.

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