A blog post from Manson, who decided to retire at the age of 62, details the ways in which “militant” faculty members are upending the university, even causing a decline in academic standards. He characterized UCLA’s anthropology department as “unusually peaceful” and “intellectually inclusive” until the late 2000s, when “militant faculty recruited even more extremely militant graduate students to work with them.”
Manson detailed the “public torment and humiliation” of colleague Professor Jeffrey Brantingham, who created predictive software that could aid law enforcement in preventing urban crime. A resolution passed by the school’s Anthropology Graduate Students Association condemned the work as furthering the “criminalization of Blackness in the United States,” as well as reinforcing “the racial capitalist and imperialist projects” dominant across the world. As a result, Brantingham became the target of activism from colleagues and students for years.
“This document contains no trace of scholarly argument, but instead resembles a religious proclamation of anathema,” Manson observed. “As you won’t be surprised to hear, Jeff is not a racist, but a standard-issue liberal Democrat.”
Manson said that several colleagues admitted to him that Brantingham was treated unfairly, though they refrained from saying so publicly due to “fear of the Woke faction.” Among other clues to the pervasive fear, Manson noted that all faculty members except for himself voted to drop the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) — an admissions test used by many American graduate schools — despite its usefulness in determining students’ qualifications, due to the possibility of being “regarded as racists.”
Similarly, several elite schools — including Harvard University and the broader University of California system — jettisoned admissions testing requirements for undergraduates. On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden agreed with the premise that standardized testing is “rooted in a history of racism and eugenics” and vowed to end its use in public schools.
Manson listed other concerning signs of “Woke capture” at UCLA, including a call to include “non-binary and intersex identities in biology courses,” the rise of anti-Zionism, and mandatory approvals of diversity statements for faculty job applications.
Why did Manson decide to leave, despite advice from other academics to stay? Because higher education in the United States is “morally and intellectually corrupt, beyond the possibility of self-repair, and therefore no longer a worthwhile setting in which to spend my time and effort,” he argued.
As Manson noted, several prominent academics have likewise decided in recent months to leave their university posts. Dr. Jordan Peterson — whose work is now available on DailyWire+ — announced earlier this year that he is no longer a tenured professor at the prestigious University of Toronto.
Peterson pointed to several trends destroying academia “and, downstream, the general culture” — including the end of objective testing and the rise of “grievance studies” disciplines. He noted that accrediting boards for Canadian graduate clinical psychology training programs “are now planning to refuse to accredit university clinical programs unless they have a ‘social justice’ orientation.” He also observed that colleagues must bow to diversity mandates by writing “DIE statements” to obtain research grants.
“They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same,” he lamented. “And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise.”