Today: 19.01.2018
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18.01.2018

‘Deplorable’ NYU professor sues colleagues for defamation.

The politically incorrect NYU professor accused of “incivility” by liberal colleagues and put on leave is now suing the college and four fellow profs for calling him everything from a drug addict to Satan. The “malicious” statements appeared in an e-mail thread that blasted out over five days in May from school accounts to more...
Time: 23:06     Date: 13.01.2018
Metro News: ‘Deplorable’ NYU professor sues colleagues for defamation. NY Post 24 - US News

The “malicious” statements appeared in an e-mail thread that blasted out over five days in May from school accounts to more than 100 university staffers, claims a defamation lawsuit filed Friday by professor Michael Rectenwald.

Rectenwald, 58, told The Post that the 20 “hateful” e-mails turned his once-pleasant academic life into a nightmare and might torpedo his career.

“I’ve been universally shunned by the entire department,” the liberal-studies professor said. “In academia, to be called a ‘racist’ and a ‘sexist’ is like the kiss of death.”

Calling himself “Deplorable NYU Prof,” Rectenwald started an undercover Twitter account, @antipcnyuprof, on Sept. 12, 2016, as a way to argue against the increasingly popular use of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” on campuses across the country.

He chose to be anonymous because, he said, he was afraid “the PC Gestapo” on the liberal Greenwich Village campus would target him.

But on Oct. 24, 2016, Rectenwald outed himself as the account’s creator in an interview with the Washington Square News, the NYU student newspaper.

The interview prompted 12 members of NYU’s Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, a panel of liberal-studies students and staff, to publish a letter two days later claiming Rectenwald was “guilty of illogic and incivility.”

The same day, he was summoned to a meeting with the dean, where he was “coerced” into taking a paid leave, the suit says.

When he returned to his job in January 2017, attacks from colleagues soon followed.

On May 8, 2017, Rectenwald tweeted about a $75,000 advance he was to get from a publisher to share his “deplorable prof” experience. The next day, former assistant professor Theresa Senft “mocked” him in an e-mail to the entire liberal-studies department, including the dean, the suit says.

Associate professor Jacqueline Bishop joined in and called him the “short pants boy they call the devil” as well as a “coward,” “punk ass” and “Adderall-filled bully.” She accused him of showing up to staff meetings “high and incoherent with your tongue sticking out the side of your mouth,” according to the suit.

Professor Carley Moore allegedly accused Rectenwald of an “ongoing campaign to silence and harass anyone who seeks to challenge his delusional, narcissistic and drug-fueled narrative.”

Adjunct professor Amber Frost labeled him a “right-wing misogynist.”

“I don’t think it’s defamation to call someone an a- -hole who is so clearly an a- -hole,” Isaacson told The Post on Saturday.

Rectenwald said the insults have had a lasting effect.

“It’s very painful to be accused of things that you haven’t done and have no basis in fact,” he told The Post in tears.

Rectenwald said he begged human resources to relocate him to the Russian-studies building three blocks away from his department, which they did in September.

“I felt unsafe,” he said.

He also expressed fears that his career would be cut short when his contract comes up for renewal.

“The renewal committee will be drawn from the faculty, which has been utterly contaminated now by these statements,” he said.

The defendants did not return requests for comment.

“This lawsuit is without merit,” said NYU spokesman John Beckman.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages.

Metro

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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