What is it with Professors Believing they are Arrogant Kings of their Classrooms?

concealed carry shorts
Image from Masada Tactical Blog

Professors – what is it that convinces them that just because they are smart in their small “micro-field”, that expertise automatically  transfers to them the right to supercede the Rule of Law?  I’ve already had one run-in with a local professor:

Bad laws are required to be broken by people of conscience and my conscience is the highest authority. If a person with a gun refuses to leave my class, then I will announce that the class is over and I will leave. If the student in question insists on carrying a gun to future classes, then I will have no choice but to turn the class into an on-line class so that I can ensure the safety of my students. People who make these foolish rules are out of touch with reality and any rules they make must be trumped by morality and reason.

My response:

Just as he seemingly scoffs at the rules at Plymouth State. His last Letter stated that if someone continually brought a gun to his class that he’d “have no choice but to turn the class into an on-line class”. Well, I could and he can’t – I called Plymouth State and verified that your grandiose statement aside, you do not have the legal authority to do that.  Leo [Leo Sandy, that is], just because you say something is true doesn’t make it so.

Master of the Universe in his own mind, and the same thing again with this one? I understand that many years have been spent in acquiring that sheepskin that has Ph.D on it – and getting to that next step, that of tenure, can be fraught with anxiety over every little thing: have I written enough, have I published enough, have I taught enough, have I said enough right things and none of the bad (have I said anything that is politically incorrect?) so as to have culled myself from the mono-mindset herd?  And, have I kissed enough butts and sucked up to the right people?

Given all that, there’s a reason why some of them turn into “Micro-Despots of the Department” when they step into the classroom – and here’s one of them (reformatted and emphasis mine):

University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano notified the Boulder campus faculty Tuesday afternoon that professors “do not have the right to shut down a class or refuse to teach” should they learn that one of their students is lawfully carrying a gun under a concealed-carry permit. And, DiStefano added, any faculty members who do so will be in violation of their contracts and face disciplinary action. DiStefano’s message comes a day after Professor Jerry Peterson, chairman of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, told the Daily Camera that, under his own “personal policy,” he plans to cancel class if he ever learns any of his students are carrying firearms. A Colorado Supreme Court ruling this spring overturned CU’s Boulder campus gun ban, and university officials say that students with conceal-carry permits are allowed to bring guns into classrooms and labs.

The Legislators of Colorado made the decision that overrode the University’s prior decision.  WHY does this Piled Higher and Deeper dope think that he has the authority and power to override that?  Does he believe that the room that temporarily acts as his classroom really is his?  He certainly is a sovereign citizen – but does he think that his sovereignty extends to the four walls of the room in which he stands?  And putting the law aside, why does he think that his sovereignty supersedes that of his students (or is it simply because he believes he owns the top of the totem by dint of having the biggest degree in the place?)

“I have the utmost respect for Professor Peterson, who is an old friend and valued colleague, but I want to make clear that if the student carrying the weapon has a concealed-carry permit, the position implied by Professor Peterson’s comments directly violates Colorado law and the operating principles of the campus,” DiStefano wrote in the e-mail to faculty.

It must be so degrading and humiliating, in a place where the politics are so high because the stakes are so low and that the degree and title mean EVERYthing, that a degreeless person can override this Ph.D Prof’s mandate in his “domain”.

Peterson stood by his classroom policy Tuesday and said he’s never had to cancel a class. The physics professor — who has said he simply wants his students to feel safe to engage in discussions that could become controversial — reiterated that the presence of guns in his classroom “would destroy the learning environment.”  DiStefano, in his e-mail, said canceling a class in those circumstances would discriminate against concealed-carry permit holders and deprive other students of the education they have paid for.

Galling, too, that dirty lucre must override the pure academic environment, eh? Nothing says capitalism with a big “C” in an academic argument like “in violation of their contracts” and “of the education they have paid for“.  Why should a Liberal have to put up with that rot?  They are mere students in the eyes of the Professoriate Class – never would they consider them Consumers that have paid for a mere service.

But that seems to be, as Glen Reynolds at Instapundit keeps reminding us, part of the Education Bubble – that THEY are the High Priests of the Ivory Towers along with their Courtiers in the NEA and AFT (et al) and forgotten that they serve and are not the Masters.


The university also is banning guns from ticketed events, including football games and campus concerts.