Opinion: Rogue university leaders should have pay cut and be forced to teach

Taxpayer funds should not go to institutions that trample on free inquiry and due process.

For years, brave, mainly liberal professors like NYU’s Jonathan Haidt, Penn’s Jonathan Zimmerman, and Columbia’s John McWhorter have urged university leaders to restore free inquiry, ideological diversity, and ethics to higher education – but with little success. As longtime professors, we believe that persuasion has failed in part because too many of today’s university presidents care more about money and power than right and wrong. In addition, leftist activists have spent a decade canceling and terminating anyone whom they disagree with, so many academics are running scared.

If woke activists threaten people’s jobs while supporters of free inquiry do not, we all know who will win. It’s time for academia’s sensible majority to change the game before it’s too late.

To cancel the cancellers, we must demote their enablers: certain university leaders who care little for traditional academic values like free thought and fair play and who use their large bureaucracies to crush dissent. Some of the university presidents who make high six-figure salaries, for example, should be made to suffer 90% reductions in base pay and get busted back to being assistant professors teaching sophomores, under grownup supervision. Recent events suggest that University of Central Florida president Alexander Cartwright and Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber should be among the first to get the treatment.

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