Responding to Professor Watch List

In response to the Professor Watchlist site that has emerged in recent weeks many campuses across the nation are responding with tactics modeled after the Notre Dame response. Below is a letter faculty at the University of Michigan are encouraging others to consider using or adapting:

Dear Professor Watchlist,

We, the undersigned faculty at the University of Michigan, write to request that you place our names, all of them, on Professor Watchlist.

We make this request because we note that you currently list on your site two of our colleagues, Professor Juan Cole and Professor Susan Douglas, whose work is distinguished by its commitment to reasoned, fact-based civil discourse examining questions of tolerance, equality, and justice. We further note that nearly all faculty colleagues at other institutions listed on your site, the philosophers, historians, theologians, ethicists, feminists, rhetoricians, and others, have similarly devoted their professional lives to the unyielding pursuit of truth, to the critical examination of assumptions that underlie social and political policy, and to honoring this country’s commitments to the premise that all people are created equal and deserving of respect.

This is the sort of company we wish to keep.

We surmise that the purpose of your list is to shame and silence faculty who espouse ideas you reject. But your list has had a different effect upon us. We are coming forward to stand with the professors you have called “dangerous,” reaffirming our values and recommitting ourselves to the work of teaching students to think clearly, independently, and fearlessly.

So please add our names, the undersigned faculty, to the Professor Watchlist. We wish to be counted among those you are watching.

Most sincerely,



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