Faculty Article: How Academe Helped to Elect Trump

by J.M. Anderson (Dean of the School of Business and Liberal Arts and Sciences) from The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal –  

President Trump scares academe. Many feel threatened, under siege, rejected, aghast. Eric Klineberg, professor of sociology at New York University, summed up this anxiety a few days after the election: “My pulse raced and my blood pressure spiked when I realized that Donald Trump would be president. I felt afraid.”

Trump’s victory, he adds, is “a repudiation of everything that universities stand for: free speech, open inquiry, inclusion, and civility; reason, and the relentless pursuit of truth and wisdom.” We now live in a “post-truth era.”

That last reference, of course, is to what many of Trump’s critics say is his common distortion of reality, flagrant lies, and preference for “alternative facts.” It is also a reference to what Klineberg calls his “disdain for academic norms and values.”

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