Columbia Prof Who Fled Marxism Resigns: “Felt Like I Was Living Under Communism Again”
Written by Selwyn Duke
After fleeing communism in his native Romania, Andrei Serban likely never thought he’d have to flee it a second time — in the United States. That is, until oppressive identity politics demands forced the award-winning theater director to resign his tenured position at Columbia University, which Serban said is “on its way toward full blown communism.”
Professor Serban told his story in a Romanian television interview, which was translated into English by a Romanian immigrant, reports the College Fix. In it, Serban speaks of how he was forbidden to hire a white, male, heterosexual professor and was pressured to let a “transgender” man play Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
Broadcast on Romania’s TVR1 October 26, the TV host, Eugenia Voda, expressed “incredulity at multiple points in the interview, seemingly shocked that the American higher education system is headed toward communism,” writes the Fix. “Serban fled from the ideology, which ruled Romania for much of the 20th century.”
One incident the professor described involved the hiring of a replacement for an academic who’d retired at the Acting School, which Serban headed. Administration asked Serban and other school professors to gather, so there were about five or six teachers, he said. (The following was auto-translated from Tribuna Românească, the Romanian Tribune, and edited for grammar and style.)
“told us the art school buzz is that there are too many white teachers, too many heterosexual male teachers,” Serban related. “So the new teacher should preferably be a black woman, and if gay, that’s better still. If a man, he preferably should be Puerto Rican or of color.”
“‘Surely there cannot be someone like you, Andrei,’ I was told. ‘You’re a man who has been married, you are heterosexual and you have children.’”
Serban then asked: What if the candidate “by far the most prepared to train these students who spend a lot of money to come to learn,” is a married, straight, white man? He was told he wouldn’t be allowed to hire the person.
And, sure enough, someone highly qualified was rejected in favor of “a gay person of color,” as Serban puts it. He said that as the hiring commission’s head, “I felt that I was making a decision against my will,” was “being dishonest,” and was simply doing what was “ordered.” “I felt like I was living under communism again,” Serban lamented.
“A second incident involving a male-to-female transgender student was the final impetus for Serban to resign, according to the translated video,” writes the Fix.
“While reviewing applicants to the theater school, the transgender student prepared Juliet’s monologue from ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” the site continues.
“Serban says that he could not believe that this person could become Juliet. After his colleagues expressed displeasure with him for stating as much, Serban resigned, saying that he could not violate his principles.”
The Fix points out that Serban is “an accomplished theater and opera producer who served as the director of the Romanian National Theater and won a Tony Award.” And as the academic stated, he could have remained a professor at Columbia until he “was a hundred years old” because he had tenure. But working under the new “communism” was intolerable.
Interestingly, Columbia still lists Serban as an active professor. His school bio is here. Also, neither the school nor Serban responded to the Fix’s e-mails or voicemail message, and the professor has not responded to The New American’s social-media overture to him. The Romanian interview appears to be the only time he has spoken of his resignation.
Serban’s experience of replacing the qualified with ideologically “acceptable” hires is truly reflective of Marxist regimes. For example, one reason the USSR fared so poorly in the Winter War against tiny Finland (1939-40) is that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had replaced qualified Red Army officers with party apparatchiks.
Unfortunately, Stalin’s spirit lives on not only at Columbia, but across academia. Consider some headlines from just the last several days:
Then there’s the new “Deep Equity” curriculum — an openly racist program that counsels teachers to reject parents who disagree — now found at schools nationwide (video below).
So what’s going on? Put simply, these are the rotten fruits of a civilization so disconnected from Truth, from objective moral reality, that it has descended into unreality. Without Truth guiding standards, people now devise them based on emotion, with the preferences of the powerful — the pseudo-elites — holding sway.
Of course, passion is the mother of prejudice, and this explains what we increasingly witness in today’s America: prejudice becoming policy and hate masquerading as high-mindedness hailed as enlightenment.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.
Courtesy of The New American