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Exposing Edward Larkin

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Tenure must go. And so must Professor’s unions. If you don’t agree with me then perhaps you have yet to familiarize yourself with the case of Professor Edward Larkin. This tenured psychopath will keep his job despite exposing himself in public in front of a 17-year old girl and her mother.

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) did the right thing when they tried to fire him. But then the Professor’s union got involved. And that led to arbitration. The arbitrator’s decision was based on a single line in the contract with the UNH Professor’s union, which says a professor has to show “moral delinquencies of a grave nature” to be fired.

The arbitrator found Larkin’s behavior didn’t meet the standard of grave moral delinquency. That bears repeating: An arbitrator determined that pulling your penis out in front of a teenage girl and her mother in a public place is not a “moral delinquenc(y) of a grave nature.”

The union decried the decision. I’m just kidding. They actually applauded the decision. Union President Deanna Wood defended the decision by noting that Larkin was convicted of a misdemeanor and it was a first offense. She fails to understand that felonious conduct is often pled down to a misdemeanor during plea negotiations. None of that serves to mitigate the “grave moral deficiency” of pulling your penis out in front of minors. One wonders whether Wood would defend Larkin if he had shown her his wood. One also wonders whether she has a teenage daughter.

“If you use state law as a benchmark this was not moral deficiency of a grave order,” Wood said to a local TV station. I’m not sure what that means. There are felonies. There are misdemeanors. But, technically, there are no “grave” offensives – at least the New Hampshire Criminal Code doesn’t use that language.

But most normal people - not academic unionists defending the indefensible – realize that pulling out your penis in public is a grave moral offense. If someone did that in the presence of my daughter, he would be in grave danger of having his penis shot off with a 240-grain hollow-point. Then, the whole question of re-instatement would be settled.

But, alas, after suspension without pay, Lurking Larkin has been reinstated. And everything is okay, according to some fellow unionists. Why? It’s because he has undergone psychiatric treatment. But this is not a psychiatric issue. This is a moral issue. And that is why most university professors are in such a bad position to offer sound judgment on the case.

The president and the provost of UNH have publicly stated that Larkin’s behavior constituted “moral delinquency of a grave order.” Good for them. The Board of Trustees has also condemned Edward Larkin’s behavior. And that has raised the ire of one UNH professor. He responded to the UNH Board of Trustees with the following:

I believe (Edward Larkin) is capable of returning to that level of service, and re-earning the trust and respect of his students and colleagues. Being a leader of a public institution requires moral leadership, particularly during difficult times. I believe you have failed in this regard. Instead of cowering from public opinion, or even pandering to it, you might have attempted, early on, to shape it and educate it.

The preceding paragraph was written by Philip J. Hatcher, UNH Professor of Computer Science. In defending Edward Larkin, he makes no attempt to condemn the professor’s decision to expose himself. He only condemns the UNH Board of Trustees for condemning Larkin. He goes so far as to say “by joining the clamor against Professor Larkin, you have now damaged all the faculty, particularly when you denounce the faculty union.”

In other words, the true offender is not Edward Larkin. It is the UNH Board of Trustees. Nor were the lady and her 17 year old daughter victims. The true victims were the faculty in the UNH Professor’s union.

Over the last ten years, I have been talking about the rapid moral decline in higher education. I’ve enjoyed exposing the universities. But, truth be known, they are better at exposing themselves.

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