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Professor Supports Beleaguered Colleague, Gets Fired

Professor Supports Beleaguered Colleague, Gets Fired
Susan Dutca-Lovell

A Santa Barbara City College Professor believes he is facing "collateral damage" for defending a professor he had invited to SBCC as a guest speaker. After coming to the defense of the disgraced professor, Mark McIntire was told that he would not be rehired - for reasons other than publicly opposing "social justice warriors."

McIntire invited Michael Shermer as a guest speaker on campus to debunk beliefs about the afterlife and utopian societies. The usually-full 400-seat auditorium was rather empty for its topic. That same morning, the Chair of Chemistry, Raenne Napolean, had disseminated a four-year-old article with the campus, detailing sexual allegations against Shermer. She wrote that although he "still has the right to free speech," she intended to "warn the women attending the talk that they should be careful not to be alone with him or hang around late on campus after the talk is over. I am also using this platform to highlight this information to faculty and staff so that you can choose whether or not you will support this event." Some professors on campus thanked her for the information, but McIntire privately responded, claiming that he was "disappointed that 'scientists' had urged women not to be alone with Shermer, despite having no clear proof of misconduct."

"...Accusations are insufficient evidence of guilt in my ethical calculus," said McIntire. While Napoleon admitted she "should have emailed [him] first before going all campus," she said, "I still stand by what I did regardless." Shortly thereafter, Shermer emailed both Napoleon and the college present, promising to take legal action and demanding the removal of the story which had been highlighted in the school's newspaper, along with a retraction and apology from Napoleon. A legal battle ensued between Shermer and Napoleon, and she had support from her one of her colleagues who set up a Go Fund Me account to cover her legal fees. Throughout this process, McIntire continued to back Shermer in a manner in which three other female faculty members found to be inappropriate and consequentially, filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

After 20 years of teaching, McIntire was told that he would not be rehired due to his "failure to grasp fundamental philosophical concepts, his statements on social media and his propensity to assign papers on politically charged topics - especially about gun control." According to McIntire, "the real reason I will never be that I was the sole faculty voice expressing the cause of marginalized religious, conservatives, libertarians, homeschoolers and/or Trump voters on staff, faculty and [in the] student population...These are violations of my First and Fourteenth Amendments [sic] protections."

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