Scholar Loses Job Due to Ayn Rand’s Philosophy
Posted by Jerry on July 6, 2007
I need to save this link, so I’m posting this here.
John Lewis, professor of History and the Classics at Ashland University was pressured to resign his post as professor due to his interest in the philosophy of Objectivism.
Mr. Lewis says his battles reflect the extraordinary and unfair degree of hostility that objectivists in academe receive from both left and right. “In the morning at Ashland [University], I was resigning because conservatives and evangelicals were opposed to me,” he says. “And then in the evening I was at George Mason [University], and there were some Muslims and this new student SDS opposed to me. I found that poignant.”
Officials at Ashland have made their discomfort with objectivism abundantly clear. In January the university, in Ohio, rejected Mr. Lewis’s application for tenure, and officials told him in writing that his support for objectivism was the sole reason for the denial.
This denial of tenure was despite the candid admission of Ashland’s then provost Robert Suggs “that Mr. Lewis’s publications, teaching, and service all met or exceeded the university’s tenure standards.”
Mr. Suggs conceded that Mr. Lewis had not proselytized objectivism in the classroom. But he argued that Mr. Lewis’s scholarly publications expressed ideas that were contrary to Ashland’s mission. He pointed in particular to Mr. Lewis’s chapter in an edited volume, Essays on Ayn Rand’s Anthem (Lexington Books, 2005). There Mr. Lewis celebrated Rand’s “break with the Judeo-Christian condemnation of ambition and pride.”
Mr. Lewis was floored by the rejection. “I was denied tenure explicitly on the basis of objectivism,” he says.