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Jordan Peterson Resigns From Tenured Professor Position at the University of Toronto, Cites ‘DIE’

Published: January 20, 2022
Portrait of Jordan Peterson at The Cambridge Union on Nov. 02, 2018 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. Peterson recently announced his resignation from a tenured position at the University of Toronto (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

On Jan 19, Jordan Peterson, bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, penned a letter published by Canada’s National Post announcing his resignation from a tenured position at the University of Toronto. 

Peterson is a polarizing Canadian clinical psychologist, YouTube personality, author and now a retired professor. He gained international prominence in 2016 after he released a series of YouTube videos critical of the Canadian government’s Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code (Bill C-16) which introduced “gender identity and expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination. 

He argues that the bill resulted in an environment where compelled speech was made law while relating the issue to a general critique of political correctness and identity politics. Peterson attracted significant attention by people both supporting and criticizing his views. 

In his letter, Peterson said that he had “envisioned teaching and researching at the U of T, full time, until they had to haul my skeleton out of my office,” but admitted that “that career path was not meant to be.”

His resignation is partly due to what he refers to as “DIE” or “Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates.”

He stated that his “qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students … face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers.”

He argued that white, heterosexual males, stand little chance of being awarded research positions in academia due to academia’s preoccupation with race and identity politics. He said, “there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough….This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades.”

Peterson believes that this culture means “we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job.”

Another reason he cites for his resignation is the “appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture.”

He cites experiences where his colleagues must craft “DIE statements to obtain research grants,” implying that these statements amount to nothing more than virtue signalling and have no value. He mentions that some of his colleagues have allowed themselves to undergo “anti-bias training” conducted by what he says are “supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel.”  

Peterson, referring to what he describes as “woke madness” asserts that “Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity — that radical leftist Trinity — is destroying us.”

He ends his over 2,200 word letter imploring people to stop “going along” with DIE activists stating that those who choose to comply are responsible for what he refers to as an “untenable” situation. 

He calls out CEOs and artists alike asking that they “stop bending your sacred and meritorious art to the demands of the propagandists before you fatally betray the spirit of your own intuition.”

“He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind. And the wind is rising,” Peterson wrote.