More on McGinn’s Offer

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on East Carolina’s offer to McGinn (previously). The article confirms the earlier report, saying “The philosophy department had chosen Colin McGinn for a one-year appointment, but administrators declined to accept the department’s choice, without saying why.”

The appointment was for the “Whichard Distinguished Professorship” which “is awarded for up to two years to a faculty member associated with a humanities program at East Carolina. This year was the philosophy department’s turn to choose a scholar, and after months of consideration, it decided on Mr. McGinn.” On August 1st, however, Marilyn Sheerer, who was then the university’s provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced that the administration would not approve the offer. 

Some of the faculty defend their choice in the article. “After reviewing the evidence, Miami never even accused him of harassment… So I don’t see how anyone could justify denying him a position because of any of that,” says Michael Veber, an associate professor of philosophy at East Carolina. Nicholas Georgalis, a distinguished research professor there, adds, “We felt this was a great opportunity.” The rest of the article (currently behind a paywall) is here

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9 years ago

I’m not sure I follow the arguments of Veber; McGinn was accused of unprofessional behavior, specifically failing to report an amorous relationship with someone over whom he had power. That seems like an accusation administrators would be concerned over; is the argument that ONLY unequivocal sexual harassment would be grounds for refusing to extend the offer?