On Nov. 7th, New York University’s Liberal Studies professor, Michael Rectenwald, was promoted from a clinical professor to a full-time professor. This news comes in light of the paid leave he went on in late October, which many speculated he was forced to take due to his Anti-Political Correctness Twitter handle, Deplorable NYU Prof. On Sept. 12th, of this year, he launched this account in secret to argue against campus trends like “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” policing Halloween costumes and other aspects of political correctness emerging on college campuses.
In a New York Post article he speaks on what inspired this action. “I remember once on my Facebook I posted a story about a kid who changed his pronoun to ‘His Majesty’ because I thought it was funny,” he told The Post. “Then I got viciously attacked by 400 people. This whole milieu is nauseating. I grew tired of it, so I made the account.”
On Nov. 3rd, Rectenwald released an editorial with the Washington Post, in which he writes about how he was encouraged to go on leave. He states that due to concerns from his colleagues he was invited to meet with NYU’s Liberal Studies dean, Fred Schwarzbach, who “strongly encouraged” him to take a paid leave.
James Devitt, NYU’s Deputy Director of Media Relations, issued a statement to the Pace Press in response to Professor Rectenwald’s promotion. “He received an expected promotion to the rank of clinical professor in accordance with our regular procedures…It is customary for such promotions to go forward even when a faculty member requests and chooses to take leave, as is the case here.” According to Devitt, Rectenwald chose to go on leave and wasn’t encouraged as Rectenwald stated in his Washington Post article.
Devitt also provided an email correspondence between Dean Schwarzbach and Rectenwald. In the emails, Schwarzbach questions Rectenwald’s need for a paid leave due to Rectenwald”s Washington Post article. “At this point, I cannot tell whether you genuinely “need” the leave, as you wrote to me yesterday — presumably at the same time you knew the Washington Post piece was coming — because you continue to offer two conflicting accounts, one private and one public…” wrote Schwarzbach. In response, Rectenwald wrote “I unequivocally need the leave of absence for the reasons given during our meeting.”
Rectenwald is currently wrapping up his classes for the semester.