To the Editor:
I am writing in response to a recent article in The Wellesley News on The Freedom Project to clarify a few points. It was suggested in the article that I resigned as director and left the College to be a visiting professors at another university because of the response to the Alice Dreger visit last year.
For the record, my resignation as director came after six years, having founded The Freedom Project and establishing it as a permanent part of Wellesley College as an institution. My decision was also influenced by an offer to be a senior visiting research fellow at an exciting new institute at Wake Forest University where I am able to devote myself full-time to research and writing this academic year, and to lecturing and speaking around the country and in international venues.
My decisions had absolutely nothing to do with response to Alice Dreger’s visit, but a rather ordinary transition from one project, of which I am very proud, to other projects which are very exciting and which I believe serve the interests of defending the central values of liberal democracies in a time when such values are under attack, not only where we expect them to be so, but also closer to home.
I look forward to returning to Wellesley in the near future, and am always willing to assist all Wellesley students who are interested in pursuing intellectually adventurous lives and who wish to learn and think freely.
Deffenbaugh de Hoyos Carlson Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology
Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Eudaimonia Institute, Wake Forest University, 2018-2019 (on leave)