The end of the semester provides a good moment to bring the story up to date. When last we heard, Springfield’s dean of arts, sciences, and professional studies had placed Gouws on “Official Warning Status.” This was a preliminary step towards firing the tenured professor. Of course, the dean, Anne Herzog, had her reasons—all of them procedural irregularities stemming from Gouws’ refusal to be steamrolled.
He was accused of denying “the Department Chairperson” admittance to his classroom. (Actually she arrived uninvited and walked out). He was accused of refusing to meet with the dean herself. (Actually he said yes, but wanted to bring a witness, which she refused to allow.) And he was accused of failing to provide a doctor’s note to verify an illness that prevented him from attending a meeting. (Gouws dutifully provided the doctor’s note.)
I repeat the petty details just to capture their sheer pettiness. This is what academic deans do? Well, this is what academic deans do when faced with a renegade professor who keeps trying to slip “men in literature” into his English courses.
Image: Public Domain