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May 20, 2018

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: This professor is beloved for making his students intellectually uncomfortable. Duke just dumped him.

About 100 students and alumni have asked Duke University to reinstate a professor whose teaching style encourages students to think critically about their opinions and opposing views.

They believe that the private university refused to renew a contract for Evan Charney, associate professor of the practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy, because he made some students feel uncomfortable by playing devil’s advocate on sensitive issues.

“In a time when political tribalism and divisiveness keep us from engaging fruitfully with one another, the skills Charney teach us are necessary to train the next generation of citizens,” they wrote in an open letter published by The Duke Chronicle.

The College Fix reviewed two other letters defending Charney (below), including one from ethnically Chinese students who disputed that his classroom is not a “safe space” for minorities.

Hannah Beiderwieden told The Fix she believes a lot of students are “unprepared to have their views challenged” because “no professor has this kind of discourse.”

Cost of attending Duke University: $72,554 per year.