Photo Credit: Daniel Pollack-Pelzner’s Facebook
Shakespeare scholar Daniel Pollack-Pelzner who won a $1 million settlement with his loved ones.

On April 28, 2021, Shakespeare scholar Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, who taught at Linfield University, a private school with campuses in McMinnville, and Portland, Oregon, was summoned by email to meet the director of human resources, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the university provost, “to discuss your employment at Linfield,” Oregon Public Broadcasting reported at the time. When asked, the Jewish professor told OPB: “I doubt they’re going to offer me a promotion.”

They weren’t. A statement from the provost issued after the meeting read: “The university today took the extraordinary step of terminating the employment of a member of our faculty for serious breaches of the individual’s duty to the institution. As a matter of policy and privacy, personnel matters are confidential, but maintaining that is not always possible – particularly when the precipitating events involve false public accusations that have, sadly, harmed the university.”


The firing was in retaliation for a string of tweets Pollack-Pelzner posted a few weeks earlier, that alleged a pattern of sexual harassment involving members of the school board of trustees and antisemitic comments from President Miles Davis, OPB reported at the time.

Faculty members supported the allegations, and the Anti-Defamation League wrote a strongly-worded letter to the school’s Board of Trustees over the professor’s claims of antisemitism.

Linfield President Miles Davis (not the Miles Davis) sent the ADL a letter accusing Pollack-Pelzner of a “smear campaign.”

After his Alfred Dreyfus-style summoning to the administration, Daniel Pollack-Pelzner posted a string of 23 tweets that artfully combined rage with an irrepressible sense of humor. The first read: “The moment I knew that nothing would come of my claims that the @LinfieldUniv President and Board Chair had religiously harassed me was when I went to the head of HR, and she said: ‘Personally, I don’t believe the Jews have a secret agenda to grab power at all!’”

He continued: “The head of HR told me that she had a Jewish neighbor who was the nicest man, and he would never try to grab power or anything like that…”

And: “I had reported that four @LinfieldUniv trustees were accused of sexual misconduct by students and faculty over the past year. That’s more than 10% of the Board. Three of those trustees are still on the Board.”

And: “Just to be clear, I was following the primary definition of sexual misconduct according to @LinfieldUniv policy: ‘any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, by any person upon any other person, without consent.’”

And: “It turned out that one of the @LinfieldUniv trustees, David Jubb, had previously been accused of sexually assaulting three students. Jubb remained on the board. The Chair was supposed to keep Jubb away from students and alcohol. He didn’t.”

And: “The student trustee on the @LinfieldUniv Board said that Jubb then sexually assaulted her. After she filed a lawsuit, all the other allegations started to come to light.”

And on and on, annoying jabs at the administration that continues to have perverts on its board, and an HR closet antisemite who probably has many Jewish friends.

Pollack-Pelzner sued the school, arguing that his firing violated protections for whistleblowers against retaliation, as well as breaching the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act, “which prohibits employers from restricting employees’ ability to communicate about sexual harassment and assault.”

On Monday, Linfield University settled out of court: it will pay $1 million to Professor Pollack-Pelzner for wrongful termination. According to JTA, Pollack-Pelzner is now a visiting professor at Portland State University and scholar-in-residence at the Portland Shakespeare Project.

Miles Davis (the antisemitic one, not the magical Jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer) is still Linfield’s president, despite calls from the ADL, the Oregon Board of Rabbis, and other groups for his resignation.


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