09/04/2014 Jonathan Taylor

Is Slippery Rock University’s psychology department a horrible place to be a male teacher? This lawsuit says yes.

Although this site is named A Voice for Male Students, far be it from me to refrain from covering issues affecting male teachers – especially those brave enough to take a stand against anti-male bias in academia. From Pennsylvania’s Trib Total Media we have this recent story:

A male assistant psychology professor claims in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that his colleagues in the otherwise all-female psychology department at Slippery Rock University have harassed him because he has complained about bias against men at the university.

Let it be known that we have officially entered into the era of filing lawsuits en masse against universities which demonstrate anti-male bias, particularly concerning male students falsely accused of sexual assault and railroaded off campus.

At first I was interested in learning what kind of bias is alleged in this new lawsuit. Is it simply a few sexist remarks about men made by a few psychology profs, or something else? The article continues:

The department repeatedly hired female applicants for short-term positions when male applicants were more qualified, the lawsuit says.

We have all heard of affirmative action (“positive” discrimination), where less qualified applicants of an underrepresented group are hired over more qualified applicants of an overrepresented group. The rationalization for such policies is to ensure equal representation (the “equal outcomes” model of “equality”).

But this is something very different. Neibauer is claiming that the department preferred less qualified applicants of an overrepresented group on the basis of sex. How did the department respond? According to Neibauer, retaliation:

Neibauer’s protests led to a meeting where the other professors harassed him and forced him to leave, with one of them saying, ‘Now you know what it’s like to be bullied,’ the lawsuit says.

Ah, is that the characteristic and all-too-predictable “it’s our turn to be sexists now” mentality that we have come to know and love in modern academia? You know, the “you go girl” attitude where what would be characterized as abuse if done by men is celebrated when done by women? Given how often misandry in academia is rationalized I would hardly be surprised.

But wait, there’s more:

Christopher Neibauer of Butler says in the lawsuit that he’s been given less favorable class assignments and excluded from department meetings because of his complaints.

The exclusion from meetings may be one of the stronger points in his case if it can be proven, and especially if the university cannot prove any misconduct or unprofessionalism (a loaded and often abused word in these academic times) on his part.

That’s the Trib Total Media story. Let’s go ahead and get out of the way the fact that many Feminists will spin story this as a misogynistic man who is getting his comeuppance. But then there are some other relevant bits from another article, this time the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that might contradict that:

According to the complaint, Mr. Niebauer protested in 2005 when others in the department refused to hire a woman ‘because she was pregnant.’

I would like to hear her side of the story.

Later he repeatedly protested the hiring of women who were, in his estimation, less qualified than male applicants. He was then subjected to investigations, deprived of lab space and given less desirable class assignments, according to the complaint. He has been unable to advance to full professor, he alleged.

Everyone who has sat behind a teachers’ desk long enough knows that – right or wrong – you have to toe the departmental line, and doing otherwise will most like be fatal to your academic career. This is especially true in the humanities  at many universities when it comes to anti-male bias.

So who are these colleagues of his in SRU’s psychology department? Since it is only fair, I am tagging their names to this post. That way we can increase the visibility of this case whenever people search for them or their department. We can’t really expect Title IX Coordinators to maintain an effective paper trail on these people, and prospective students and teachers need to have adequate warning of the alleged activity.

So we’ll just call that “leveling the playing field.” Their names are:

  • Jennifer Sanftner (Department Chair)
  • Elizabeth Boerger
  • Emily Keener
  • Catherine J. Massey
  • Ann Romanczyk
  • Linda Veronie
  • Jennifer Willford

Again, SRU’s psychology department is – with the exception of Christopher Neibauer – entirely staffed by women. How common is that?

This is a good time for me to pull out my recently-developed graph on the top 10 bachelor’s degrees conferred by sex. Note how many psychology degrees are awarded overall, what position the degree field holds in the top ten, and what proportion of psychology degree recipients are women:


Certainly, some of the overrepresentation of women in psychology may be due to simple career choices. But is there also a bias against males in the psychology community?

Psychotherapist and men’s advocate Tom Golden certainly had quite a bit to say on that subject in his article “Misandry in Psychological Research.” Paul Elam, founder of A Voice for Men, has also spoken about anti-male bias as a counselor. Both their accounts are well worth a read.

Let’s keep an eye on Christopher Neibauer’s case. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (8)

  1. Malcolm

    Slippery Rock University? This isn’t The Onion, is it?

    • The name threw me at first too. It’s real enough for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wikipedia, and Rate My Professors. I get 440k hits when I search the school’s name.

      If we were being trolled, that’s some hardcore trolling. Aesthetically, the school looks kind of like a dump, though.

  2. Equalitarian Guy

    I just a banned a Jennifer Willford from Carolina(???) University on facebook yesterday, because she was spreading what i would call “feminist slurr” in a comment section under a feminist article. I’m pretty sure the article was about “Men should stop asking girlfriends for nudies” ( and it’s men’s fault – only and alone – that women send nudies ).
    So i consider this story as true.

    • Howard Gordan

      I think this is the Jennifer. It matches her. She does belong also to a group that makes sure women and girls succeed in math and science. That’s why she doesn’t want a man in her dept. She only cares about girls succeeding and being the majority in all majors.


      • Edu

        I believe you are correct Howard. She is part of the Society for Teaching Psychology group, and has posted a picture on her timeline that was given to her by a student, tagged with SRU.

  3. scott

    Gender-feminist hysteria, and playing victim olympics around the knitting circle is one thing…but becomes a whole other beast when American law enforcement start getting federal pork bloating dollars to help enable, and facilitate the mass hysteria.

    When American Law enforcement started getting federal dollars to fuel it…it became… a leviathan!!

  4. Rob

    Good for him! The psychology department at Slippery Rock University appears to be run like a good ol girl network. This guy is saying it wont be business as usual anymore.

  5. Joe

    I just heard about this lawsuit today. I have no direct comment on it or the validity that it holds, but I am happy to hear that it is happening. I attended the university. I can completely relate to much of the sentiment. As a male student, I was bullied constantly by feminist professors. I always felt unable to complain or express my frustration, since male complaints were not taken seriously.

    Even though, I was in the top 3% of my graduating class, I received absolutely no help in moving forward. I watched as professors fought and went out of their way to help fellow female students get scholarships to move forward or gave them leads toward careers. I would not have found this as appalling, yet these female students were B and C students. Meanwhile, I was unable to even get SRU’s career services to offer me a lead better than $8 an hour.

    I honestly felt always like I had to work twice as hard to get through school. Actually, in two separate ways. I got no assistance. I was denied any chance to work on campus or get aid. I had to work full time. They love non-traditional students, who are usually single mothers, at SRU. They expect you to do out of class activities at night or on weekends, which favors someone who has a second or supplemented income.

    On top of that, I had to rewrite or add extra research to nearly every paper that I wrote for a female teacher. It was not because of poor writing nor invalid sources. It was simply because they disapproved or disagreed with my points. At times, I was even given a spiteful B, just to drive home that my opinion wasn’t welcome. All the while, female students were met with praise for giving half-fetched, loosely strung together, opinions, which were written with the grammar and compositional skill of high school freshman.

    Of course, I see most of these female students working currently in the field. I gave up on the dream of actually using my education. I see the network of support that they still have, all of these years later. The female professors comment via social media or make passing comments about being proud and how happy they were to help. To me, they simply give a nod of recognition to my face or ignore me completely.

    Finally, I watch many of the female professors interact with other women. I hear their rhetoric every week, since I still encounter them due to my job. They say the most overtly sexist and demeaning things toward men. They seem to believe that the concept of female repression, that they clearly never truly encountered to be in their standing, has given them the right to personally take action against all males. They seem to have a mission of retribution that targets innocent and hard working young men, so that they might never be in a position where they are proud and threatening.

    Does this seem far fetched or over the top? That is the problem. It is my life and these are real experiences, yet no one takes them seriously or cares. People just assume this cannot be the truth. For those few of us that get caught up in the mess, it is a cruel nightmare.


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