Psychology professor Jordan Peterson’s announced plan to create a website to inform college students and their parents about “indoctrination cults” in university classes has drawn rebuke from other teachers at the University of Toronto.
His colleagues claim that the website will turn them into targets of harassment.
“As a science professor, I’m not specifically targeted, but I still believe this website is morally wrong,” said” U of T physics professor A.W. Peet in an interview, per CBC. “A number of students and faculty members who I’m in correspondence with are concerned about his plans.”
Peterson rose to fame in conservative circles after his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns like “xe/xir” became the subject of widespread controversy as special snowflake students on campus verbally assaulted him over his views and called for him to be reprimanded by the University of Toronto. Peterson argued that forcing others to use gender-neutral pronouns as a matter of law was an infringement on personal freedoms in Canada.
The psychology professor intends to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to sift through university curricula for “post-modern neo-Marxist course content”—a legitimate concern that many have over social science, English, and liberal arts classes.
“We’re going to start with a website in the next month and a half that will be designed to help students and parents identify post-modern content in courses so that they can avoid them,” announced Peterson on CTV’s Your Morning in August.
“I’m hoping that over about a five-year period a concerted effort could be made to knock the enrollment down in postmodern neo-Marxist cult classes by 75 per cent across the West. So our plan initially is to cut off the supply to the people that are running the indoctrination cults.”
“Women’s studies, and all the ethnic studies and racial studies groups, man, those things have to go and the faster they go the better,” he said. “It would have been better if they had never been part of the university to begin with as far as I can tell.”
“Sociology, that’s corrupt. Anthropology, that’s corrupt. English literature, that’s corrupt. Maybe the worst offenders are the faculties of education,” added Peterson.
His proposal has not gone over well with his colleagues, who argue that he is proposing a form of “surveillance” on “certain kinds of academic content.”
According to the CBC, the senior faculty of U of T’s Women’s and Gender Studies Institute lodged their concerns with the university administration over the site, which they claim “presents a serious case of harassment, fostering unsafe work and study conditions for students, faculty and staff.”
The organization is “strongly requesting” that the university act to suppress the website before it has a chance to launch.
U of T spokeswoman Althea Blackburn-Evans confirmed the complaint and told CBC that they are meeting with faculty to address those concerns.