A group of University of Montana faculty members has issued a letter opposing an upcoming visit and lecture by a UNC-Wilmington professor who is known for sparking controversy.
The letter, signed by 11 faculty members of UM’s African-American Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs, ran as a guest column Friday in the Missoulian newspaper online. It argues that Mike Adams, a well-known conservative and professor of sociology and criminology, should not be allowed to give the 10th annual Jeff Cole Distinguished Lecture on the Montana campus on Feb. 13.
“As faculty in UM’s African-American Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, we stand in opposition to Dr. Adams’s racist, homophobic and misogynist statements,” the letter says. “The speaker has a long record of mocking, demeaning and verbally attacking women, people of color, members of the Islamic faith and the LGBTQ community.”
The letter supports an original decision by UM Journalism Dean Larry Abramson to retract Adams’ invitation to speak.
Abramson suggested lecture organizers could find another speaker, with concerns Adams may offend students, according to local radio station KGVO. But UM President Sheila Stearns responded that Adams had not been banned from speaking, the station reported.
Adams was at the center of a controversy on his own campus in in 2016, when he posted an online article about a student activist under the title “A ‘Queer Muslim’ Jihad.”
He also settled a lawsuit in 2014 after claiming UNC-W didn’t promote him due to his political and religious opinions – making away with a raise and promotion.
Adams responded to the faculty members’ letter with a Facebook post Thursday that began with a response to him being referred to as an assistant professor: “Seriously?”
“Note that they demoted me from full professor to associate professor, which was my rank before the lawsuit,” Adams wrote. “That was no accident.”