Liberal studies professor Michael Rectenwald, the man behind the controversial @DeplorableNYUProf account, has been promoted by prestigious New York University and given a raise days after the University had put him on a paid leave for criticizing politically correct culture on campus.
Michael Rectenwald was promoted from clinical professor to full time professor on Monday, a source said to the NY Post.
In the initial interview with Heat Street on October 26, Rectenwald was outspoken against the current on-campus culture of social justice warriors and safe spaces. He likened academia to a mad house and claimed that “safe spaces” is an existential error.
“This movement is not going to overthrow homophobia, transphobia, racism, or sexism. In fact it works the other way and it will constantly cause people to be resentful and probably even foster the very attitude it opposes,” he told Heat Street.
Rectenwald contended that by shutting everyone else up, social emancipation is impossible—something academia should stand for.
His Twitter account “DeplorableNYUProfessor,” launched last month, was a personal protest against social justice warriors and trigger warnings. It was a “no safe spaces” zone where among his tweets you could see statements like “academia has officially gone ape shit. This is now merely mental illness posing as politics” or “the identity politics left: they need a safe space that is at once a hall of mirrors and a rubber room.”
When “Deplorable Professor” went public about being placed on paid leave by NYU after criticizing political correctness and “safe spaces”, the University claimed that his leave was voluntary and had nothing to do with his criticism or his tweets.
Several major publication seemed to have sided with NYU. An article in New York Magazine titled “A Communist NYU Professor Says He Was Ousted for Mocking Political Correctness. Was He?” by the leftist writer Jesse Singal questioned the professor’s arguments and portrayed him as an embellishing attention-seeker who was trying to impress Breitbart commentators.
As the controversy raged, Michael Rectenwald told Heat Street that his leave was indeed strongly suggested by the NYU and was not his idea. “No, I wasn’t asking to leave. I was having a good semester, I had a good bunch of students, I liked them all and they seemed to be liking me. Once I made my statements public, all these developments started…”
On October 26, prior “to the strong suggestion to take paid leave,” Rectenwald had received an open letter from the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group of NYU, signed by twelve people, including two deans, claiming in a Kafkaesque fashion that Rectenwald is “guilty of illogic and incivility”.
“He seeks to discredit many of us who are committed to social justice by calling us insane and suggesting that some of our concerns are crazy,” the letter said.
Now, according to the New York Post, liberal studies dean Fred Schwarzbach sent a “strongly worded” email to the department reminding them to be respectful of the opposing views.
NYU also offered a promotion to Professor Rectenwald.