San Diego State University is standing by an associate dean who drew national media attention after calling the Republican Party an “extremist terrorist organization.”
Campus Reform first broke news last week of the Facebook post by Patrick McCarthy, SDSU’s associate dean of library and information access, written in response to a Newsweek article, “Right-Wing Extremists Are a Bigger Threat to America than ISIS.”
The university’s spokeswoman finally responded to the growing controversy on Saturday night. “The views and opinions expressed by faculty and staff on their personal accounts are protected by the First Amendment and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the university,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed comment to the student newspaper.
By deadline, McCarthy did not respond to Heat Street’s requests for comment.
But in the statement to Campus Reform, the College Republicans’ president, Brandon Jones, seemed to echo a popular liberal criticism of controversial speakers, suggesting that professors who say offensive things about a specific group may be inciting violence.
“All too often, professors contribute to politically motivated violence toward conservative students in the classroom where they continuously preach their views, as opposed to teaching coursework,” Jones said.
Speaking later to Heat Street, he added that such comments can contribute to an uncomfortable learning environment for non-liberals.
“Statements like the one made by McCarthy add to the already existing, hostile environment for conservative students on college campuses,” Jones said. “Liberal professors continue to preach their views as opposed to teach the coursework, while blatantly shutting down conservative thought and ideas in the classroom.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.