I write this letter in order to apologize to you, our students, for what is happening, happened, and will happen at Seton Hall University. As demonstrated in the College of Arts & Sciences faculty meeting on February 23rd concerning the “diversity” requirement, inherent to the forums on “Microaggressions” and “Privilege”, and has been reported to me on numerous occasions over the past several years, many members of the faculty and staff are attempting to indoctrinate you with Marxist ideology – put simply, the simplistic, misleading division of the world into the oppressors and the oppressed – instead of educating you. These instructors are well-intentioned, but misguided.
We, the faculty and staff, have an obligation to create an academic environment of inclusion and toleration where we all engage in the objective search for truth. Our classrooms should be free from partisan politics, intimidation, shaming, and/or harassment, as well as emotion-based, anti-intellectual arguments. I am sorry these goals are being violated in some cases, but I want every student to know that there are many, if not most, faculty and staff who are still committed to the ideals of a liberal education derived from, but not exclusive to, the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Unfortunately, in this fraught political environment, the only thing I can do is to proffer these words of advice, as little as that is: When you are in your classrooms, look out for this kind of indoctrination. Do not attempt to argue with it. Learn the skills and regurgitate the material for the class, but in addition, outside of the classroom, interrogate, analyze, and research the topics. Gather together with like-minded individuals and discuss. There are those of us on the faculty who will support and encourage you. Seek us out if you like.
Ultimately, as always, your education is your responsibility. Only you can overcome the obstacle to true learning these attempts at indoctrination create. I apologize for not being able to do more.
Professor William James Hull Hoffer
Professor of History