Scott Savage, reference librarian for OSU Mansfield, is being investigated for sexual harassment on the basis of his recommendations for required reading for the incoming freshman class.
* The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian
* The Professors by David Horowitz
* Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or
* It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum
These recommendations apparently came after he expressed the opinion that recommendations made by others were too polarizing (and largely leftist), and recommended Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. His recommendation was not welcome; some committee members felt that earlier recommendations were not polarizing, others that the point of the exercise was to challenge conventional wisdon (and hence, apparently, that some polarization was appropriate).
The Alliance Defence Fund has taken the case, and delivered this rather terse message to The Ohio State University administration on March 28, requesting that they cease and desist any investigation into sexual harassment charges by March 31. OSU declined to do so.
Based on the emails copied in the initial cease and desist request, it appears that the situation quickly morphed from an argument over the scholarship of the books to one involving academic orthodoxy and the right of the librarian to recommend books containing the authors' views. Accusations of homophobia flew freely (of course).
The main point of contention is The Marketing of Evil, the Amazon.com review of which contains this statement:
Few people realize...that the 'gay rights' movement—which transformed America's former view of homosexuals as self-destructive human beings into their current status as victims and cultural heroes—faithfully followed an in-depth, phased plan laid out by professional Harvard-trained marketers.
The recommendation leaked out of the committee, and an associate English Professor, J.F. Buckley, sent a series of (as I read them) hysterical emails to the faculty, in which he explained (among other things) that he "as a gay man, no longer felt at ease to use the library or teach in a manner that tries diligently to engage every perspective - save that of the bigot."
[Incidentally, according to his bio, Buckley authored non-polarizing works such as "Desire, The Self, The Social Critic: The Rise of Queer Performance Within the Demise of Transcendentalism and articles on sexual orientation in Hemingway and Melville", none of which I have read. Alas.]
This, and the librarian's subsequent defense of the choice, was enough to trigger a unanimous faculty vote to file sexual harassment charges against Savage. (Charges were actually filed by individuals, not by the faculty as a whole).
The entire episode is a disaster for the school. It stinks of censorship, makes OSU-Mansfield look like a pit of liberal lunacy, reinforces the stereotype of gays as pathetic whiners, trivializes legitimate sexual harassment, and speaks very poorly of the ability of these "educated" people to work out their differences in an adult manner.
Any insight that Flares' legal experts can provide into the case would be appreciated, and if I've misstated or misrepresented anything above, please let me know.