The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Pacific Northwest chapter sent a letter to Oregon’s Linfield University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday asking for an explanation into a professor’s allegations of anti-Semitism which were posted on social media.
In response, reported opb.org, Linfield President Miles Davis said in a written reply that the instructor’s tweets were a “smear campaign” against university administration.
The tweets were sent last week by Linfield professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner who wrote that he was hit with anti-Semitic comments after he reported that members of the school’s Board of Trustees had been accused of improprieties and misconduct by students and faculty.
One of the reports dealt with former board member David Jubb, who was later indicted on eight charges of abuse. A trial is scheduled for next fall.
Pollack-Pelzner tweeted that he received anti-Semitic comments from the head of human resources and from the chair of the board. He further said that he heard Davis talking about “measuring the size of Jewish noses.”
He also said that Davis said that faculty and students were overreacting to swastikas that had been found on campus.
“Finally, the President said that people like me were destroying [Linfield] from within and could only show loyalty by accepting the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament,” Pollack-Pelzner tweeted.
Pollack-Pelzner’s tweets state that the board censored him during meetings.
“The people who have been accused deny that these things were ever said,” Linfield spokesperson Scott Nelson stated, adding the university had hired outside and internal investigators and found no validity to the charges.
“The university respects that individuals are free to express their opinions on social media, but that doesn’t make them accurate,” Nelson said. “Linfield stands against xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and sexual misconduct in all forms.”
Davis said, in response to the ADL letter, that as an African-American he know the importance of “the need for education, training and community engagement on matters of discrimination and intolerance” while reiterating that while the university has work to do in regards to making the campus more inclusive, according to him Pollack-Pelzner has been “engaged in a smear campaign toward me and the administration.”
Pollack-Pelzner said he hopes Linfield works on building a safer campus.
“These are real issues that Linfield has to deal with, and I understand the impulse to blame the messenger and claim that the harm is in the act of reporting rather than what’s being reported, but I’m hopeful that if we continue to shed a light on these abuses of power that that will allow us eventually to be able to rebuild and heal,” Pollack-Pelzner said.