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Peter Boghossian resigns from Portland State University, says students are not being taught to think

After more than a decade teaching at Portland State University, Peter Boghossian has resigned and publicly shared his resignation letter which heavily criticizes the institution.

Boghossian, who noted that he is resigning as assistant professor of philosophy, said that students at the school are not getting “taught to think” and that faculty and administrators are pushing intolerance of divergent viewpoints.

Here’s an excerpt from his letter:

I never once believed — nor do I now — that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion. Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions. This is why I became a teacher and why I love teaching.

But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of intellectual exploration impossible. It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.

Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly.

Boghossian wrote that “it became increasingly clear to me that the incidents of illiberalism I had witnessed over the years were not just isolated events, but part of an institution-wide problem.” He said that, “The more I spoke out about these issues, the more retaliation I faced.”

He explained that he feels morally bound to relinquish his position in order live by his principles.

“While I am grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Portland State for over a decade, it has become clear to me that this institution is no place for people who intend to think freely and explore ideas,” he noted. “This is not the outcome I wanted. But I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?”

The institution said in a statement that it did not have a comment about the man’s statement of resignation.

“Portland State has always been and will continue to be a welcoming home for free speech and academic freedom,” the university’s statement declared, according to Fox News. “We believe that those practices are not in conflict with our core institutional values of student success; racial justice and equity; and proactive engagement with our community. As with all personnel matters, we have no comment on Dr. Boghossian’s statement of resignation.”

Boghossian noted on Twitter that while he does not view himself as a conservative, he has been inundated with invitations to do interviews with conservative media, but he has not received any requests from liberal media.

“I’ve been deluged with requests to appear on conversative media regarding my resignation from PSU,” Boghossian tweeted. “And yet, I don’t consider myself a conservative. I’ve received zero requests for interviews with liberal media. I’d enjoy having a conversation with you @maddow @npr @msnbc,” he wrote.

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