In what is being called an “astonishing” and “shameful” case of campus persecution, a librarian at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus is being formally accused of “sexual harassment.” His crime? Recommending that the school’s freshman class be required to read WND Managing Editor David Kupelian’s controversial best seller, “The Marketing of Evil.”
Scott Savage is head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Bromfield Library on
Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus.
The school’s Office of Human Resources put Savage under “investigation” after three professors – Hannibal Hamlin, Norman Jones and J.F. Buckley – filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment, saying Kupelian’s book made them feel “unsafe.”
In his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee, Savage had suggested new students read “The Marketing of Evil,” as well as three other books – “The Professors” by David Horowitz, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or, and “It Takes a Family” by Sen. Rick Santorum. Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.
The attacks on Savage stem directly from faculty members’ reaction to “The Marketing of Evil,” according to the Arizona-based public-interest group Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending the librarian.
“Universities are one of the most hostile places for Christians and conservatives in America,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David French, who heads the group’s Center for Academic Freedom. “It’s shameful that OSU would investigate a Christian librarian for simply recommending books that are at odds with the prevailing politics of the university.”
ADF sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to OSU Mansfield officials [pdf file] March 28 informing them of Savage’s constitutional rights. In it, the legal group explained the attack on Savage:
After Mr. Savage suggested the four additional books, Professors Hamlin and Jones took issue with “The Marketing of Evil.” They e-mailed the Committee and labeled Mr. Savage “anti-gay” and called his suggestions “homophobic tripe.”
Jones did not stop there; he sent a private email to Mr. Savage’s supervisor, questioning the integrity of the library staff. He sent another email to the Committee, arguing with Mr. Savage’s academic opinions and quoting additional text from Amazon.com’s review of “The Marketing of Evil.” After this e-mail exchange, a non-committee faculty member, J.F. Buckley, emailed all faculty and staff at the Mansfield campus criticizing the book Mr. Savage mentioned, denigrating Mr. Savage’s professionalism, and claiming that he felt threatened by Mr. Savage. …
On Monday, March 13, 2006, at the routine faculty meeting, several faculty members accused Mr. Savage of sexual harassment and made a motion to file formal charges against him. The faculty unanimously passed the motion and appointed Professor Gary Kennedy to notify OSU’s sexual harassment officer. Two days later the faculty met again and rescinded the motion (due to confusion as to whether the faculty had the authority to pass the origional motion), but instructed the complaining professors to notify OSU’s sexual harassment officer individually. On March 16, 2006, Buckley, Jones and Kennedy filed a Discrimination & Harassment Complaint with OSU’s Office of Human Resources.
To date, the university refuses to halt the investigation, saying in response, it takes “any allegation of sexual harassment seriously.”
French is incredulous that faculty members are attempting to label a librarian as a “sexual harasser” simply because they disagree with his book suggestions: “It is astonishing that an entire faculty would vote to launch a sexual harassment investigation because a librarian offered book suggestions in a committee whose purpose was to solicit such suggestions,” he said.
Here are a few of the OSU professors’ March 9 intra-faculty e-mail comments:
- Hamlin: “On the matter of homophobia, I think you should be rather careful, Scott. OSU’s policy on discrimination is not simply a matter of academic orthodoxy, but a matter of human rights. Re Kupelian’s book, would you advocate a book that was racist or antisemitic [sic], or are you arguing that homosexuals are not in the same category and that homophobia is not therefore a matter of discrimination but of rational argument? And what are we supposed to make of the fact that Kupelian’s Armenian family died in the holocaust? Does this mean that he then has the right to spout bigotry about other minorities with impunity?
- Jones: “The anti-gay book Scott Savage endorses (below) falsely claims that ‘the widely revered father of the ‘sexual revolution’ has been irrefutably exposed as a full-fledged sexual psychopath who encouraged pedophilia.” This is a factually untrue characterization of Dr. Kinsey and his work on every point. … I am frankly embarrassed for you, Scott, that you would endorse this kind of homophobic tripe.
- Buckley: “Rather than waste your time with the paucity of intellectual rigor that Kupelian brings to the table, I encourage you to visit his website, and see for yourself his unmitigated homophobia and xenophobia. In short, he is a pontificating, phobic, cultural atavism bemoaning the loss of an (Anglo) America that only existed on such shows as “The Lone Ranger.” … As a gay man I have long ago realized that the world is full of homophobic, hate-mongers who, of course, say that they are not. So I am not shocked, only deeply saddened – and THREATENED – that such mindless folks are on this great campus. I am ending now, with the hope that I have seriously challenged you Scott, and anyone who “thinks” as you purport to do. You have made me fearful and uneasy being a gay man on this campus. I am, in fact, notifying the OSU-M campus, and Ohio State University in general, that I no longer feel safe doing my job. I am being harassed.”
Commenting on the controversy surrounding his book, Kupelian said: “It’s disgraceful that this university’s faculty members would destroy an innocent man by calling him a ‘sexual harasser,’ just because he recommended my book. What’s ironic is that my book simply champions the traditional, Judeo-Christian values almost all Americans took for granted 60 years ago. But today, many of us, at least on our nation’s college campuses, are in mortal combat with those same values.”
“The Marketing of Evil,” released in August, has become one of the nation’s most talked-about books, widely praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and many others and garnering over 100 five-star reader reviews on Amazon.com. Here’s a sampling:
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