Eliminating Professors

Author: Westhues, Kenneth
Chapters treat the role of administration, faculty association, arbitrators, courts, harassment tribunals, and internal appeal mechanisms. Based on 25 actual case histories, in some of which the professor has been removed, in others not, the book includes additional cases from non-academic settings. It describes in detail a five-stage process that begins with ostracization and ends with removal though one of ten different exit-doors; draws upon the latest studies of conflict surrounding race and gender, and shows the pitfalls and potential this conflict holds for academic administration.; identifies the elements of organizational infrastructure that must be in place if an elimination effort is to succeed; devotes a chapter to the 1992 murder of four professors at Concordia University by a member of the engineering faculty, and draws practical lessons from the tragedy; lists 25 essential guidelines for the effective operation of harassment tribunals; integrates findings from Dr. Heinz Leymann’s research in Scandinavia, widely publicized in Europe but until now little known in North America; confronts head-on the question of psychiatric disorders among professors, relying especially on New York psychologist Dr. Carl Goldberg’s Speaking with the Devil. It also directs readers in an afterword to two dozen film depictions of the phenomenon under study.


“This account has the chill of graveyard truth. I’ve often read about the ideal of a fearless objectivity in the social sciences, but I’ve rarely experienced it as forcefully as in this book.” – James R. Kelly, Fordham University

“The book’s chapters – highly readable, personal, engaging, and illuminative – alternate between a suspenseful narrative of Dr. Westhues’s own case winding its tortured and exasperating through an appeal, and the ‘how-to’ chapters, which are written, this reader presumes, with an intensely ironic, but tellingly effective voice ... satiric intensity that chills the blood.” – David W. Leslie, in The Journal of Higher Education

“Although intended as a bitter satire, Dr. Westhues gives a remarkably perceptive account of the techniques used for getting rid of unwelcome academics. Of course, it can also be read by those who are targeted, and their supporters, as a primer on what is likely to happen and how best to oppose it.” – Brian Martin in Campus Review (Australia)

“Well-written case study and an interesting, informative and passionate look into the darker side of ideological correctness and intellectual weakness within academe.” – William Zwerman in Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology