Offer of visiting fellowship to controversial professor resulted in backlash from faculty and students
Jordan Peterson
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Cambridge University has rescinded its offer of a visiting fellowship to Jordan Peterson, the self-styled "professor against political correctness", after a backlash from faculty and students.

Peterson, a psychology professor from Toronto who has courted controversy for his views on transgender rights, gender and race, announced on Monday via his YouTube channel that he was joining Cambridge for two months.

"In October I am going to Cambridge University in the UK for two months and I will be a visiting fellow there at the divinity school and should give me the opportunity to talk to religious experts of all types for a couple of months, as well as students," he said. "It's a thrill for someone academically minded ... to be invited there, to sit in and participate for a few months."

The University of Cambridge said Peterson requested to be a visiting fellow and was initially granted the opportunity, but after further review it decided to take back the offer.

"[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot," a spokesperson for the university said.

Peterson, whose self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, became a bestseller in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany and France, has amassed more than 1 million followers on Twitter.

In September 2016 he expressed concern on YouTube about the development of a federal amendment to add gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act. This would make it illegal to stop someone from getting a job or discriminate against them in the workplace based on the gender they identify with or outwardly express.

Peterson claimed the law was an infringement of free speech and said that he would refuse to use any pronoun other than he or she. His views sparked protests across Toronto University's campus.

He also challenged his university's plans for mandatory anti-bias training and has railed against Marxism, human rights organisations, HR departments and "an underground apparatus of radical left political motivations" forcing gender-neutral pronouns on him.

In an interview in April 2018, he doubted the science behind climate change: "Most of the global warming posturing is a masquerade for anti-capitalists to have a go at the Western patriarchy. That's partly why the climate change thing for me is a contentious issue, because you can't trust the players. You can't trust the data because there is too much ideology involved."

Professors at Cambridge voiced their opinion about the decision, with Dr Priyamvada Gopal sharing her views against the move before the offer was rescinded.

Anna p Judson Peterson tweet

Comment: Priyamvada Gopa, a feminist professor who wears "white racism" glasses is not new to controversy.
Gopal, who frequently and vocally calls out racism on her timeline, is no stranger to vilification
of this nature. Formerly a student of literature in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, she has over 20,000 followers on Twitter and has often faced backlash for protesting racism in bristling, angry words. In April this year, Daily Mail carried an article that called her a 'hate-filled don' and wondered how Cambridge could allow her to work there. That, Gopal tells HuffPost India, opened the floodgates of racist abuse directed at her.
An article on Sunday Times begins saying, 'Depending on your point of view, Priyamvada Gopal is either a warrior for racial justice or a professional victim with a persecution complex'. How are you dealing with stereotyping such as the latter?

I accept it as part of white supremacist culture and what comes with raising difficult questions. The stereotyping and slurs in the media are absolutely horrendous, a good instance of 'misogynoir' or a specific form of sexism directed at women of colour. It's just a reality and I do my best not to take it too personally. Clearly something is being threatened or there wouldn't be this kind of well, frankly, hysterical reaction.

Comment: Click on the twitter link to see how twitter readers schooled Lieske Huits who is a PhD student at Cambridge.

In a statement, Cambridge University students' union said: "We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson's request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge's faculty of divinity has been rescinded following further review. It is a political act to associate the University with an academic's work through offers which legitimise figures such as Peterson.

"His work and views are not representative of the student body and as such we do not see his visit as a valuable contribution to the University, but one that works in opposition to the principles of the University."

The Guardian has contacted Peterson for comment.