UK university caves in to student pressure and rescinds fellowship invitation to Jordan Peterson
CAMBRIDGE, England, March 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Canada’s most famous scholar has been publicly dumped by one of the UK’s top universities and he thinks narrow-minded students are to blame.
In an online essay published March 20, Dr. Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life and Maps of Meaning, announced that his invitation to take up a visiting fellowship at Cambridge University had been rescinded -- over Twitter.
Peterson believes that a student group tweeted the news even before the erstwhile host, the Faculty of Divinity, released it.
A March 20 tweet from Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) reads, “The university have released the following statement regarding Jordan Peterson being a visiting fellow in the Divinity faculty: ’We can confirm that Jordan Peterson requested a visiting fellowship, and an initial offer has been rescinded after a further review.’"
In a public statement published by the Guardian, the student group expressed their “relief” that Peterson will not be living and researching at the university, saying his “work” and “views” were not shared by students there.
“We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge’s faculty of divinity has been rescinded … ,” they wrote.
“It is a political act to associate the University with an academic’s work through offers which legitimise figures such as Peterson,” CUSU continued.
“His work and views are not representative of the student body and as such we do not see his visit as a valuable contribution to the University, but one that works in opposition to the principles of the University.”
Peterson explained to his readers that, having seen the enormous success of his online lectures on the Book of Genesis, he plans to produce a series of lectures on the Book of Exodus. Having profited from conversations with members of Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity last November, Peterson applied for the visiting fellowship, hoping for more fruitful discussions.
After pointing out that his books and videos have been read and watched by millions of people, Peterson stressed that his fellowship would be a benefit to him and the university.
“I thought that I could extend my knowledge of the relevant stories by spending time in Cambridge, and that doing so would be useful for me, for faculty members who might be interested in speaking with me, and to the students,” he wrote.
“I also regarded it as a privilege and an opportunity. I believed (and still believe) that collaborating with the Faculty of Divinity on such a project would constitute an opportunity of clear mutual benefit.”
However, in light of Cambridge University’s decision to rescind his fellowship, Peterson believes the Divinity school has decided to virtue-signal.
“Now the Divinity school has decided that signaling their solidarity with the diversity-inclusivity-equity mob trumps that opportunity – or so I presume,” he wrote.
“You see, I don’t yet know, because (and this is particularly appalling) I was not formally notified of this decision by any representative of the Divinity school,” he continued.
“I heard about the rescinded offer through the grapevine, via a colleague and friend, and gathered what I could about the reasons from social media and press coverage (assuming that CUSU has at least something to do with it).”
Toby Young, a columnist for the UK’s witty, conservative The Spectator magazine, also believes student pressure is to blame. He cited a Cambridge University student newspaper’s heavily anti-Peterson coverage and called the university’s actions “shameful.”
“Honestly, this is a truly shameful episode in the university’s history – up there with the Cambridge spy ring,” he said, referring to British Cambridge-educated traitors who slipped information to the Soviet Union in the 1940s and 50s.
“To think that it had the opportunity to host a series of lectures by the world’s leading public intellectual, a brilliant iconoclast who sells out 5,000-seater venues from New York to Sydney,” Young continued.
“Undergraduates would have had the opportunity to study with him, to engage in dialogue and discussion. But no. He might have presented them with some thoughtful counter-arguments to their postmodern, Neo-Marxist gobbledygook and we can’t possibly have that. Not at a university, of all places.”
Peterson became famous during a principled stand against legally binding speech codes that would see Canadian residents fined or even imprisoned for refusing to use the “preferred pronouns” of transgender activists. Since then, Peterson has also spoken out against forced sex education through Canadian schools and for religious freedom. Peterson’s male-positive philosophy, which is rooted in Judeo-Christian cultures and values, provides a viable alternative to young men tempted by the Scylla of suicide and the charybdis of white supremacy.