Under fire for racist comments, Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax launches crowdfunding page

Under fire University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her legal defense against the university’s possible sanctions that could include suspension or firing.

Wax is accused of making homophobic and racist statements on several occasions. The law school’s dean Ted Ruger had accused Wax of “inappropriate conduct” in a 12-page letter sent to the Penn faculty senate on June 23. The letter had asked the senate to call for a hearing and give the 69-year-old professor a severe sanction such as suspension or firing.

In his letter, Ruger wrote: “Wax has repeatedly used the platform she was granted when she became a professor at the university to disparage immigrants, people of color, and women, including law students, alumni and faculty.” The letter was made public by a Philadelphia-based organization named Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a group advocating free speech.

Last week, Wax initiated a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $300,000. As of Monday night, she had raised close to $142,000 from 906 donations that ranged from $5 to $10,000.

Wax wrote on her GoFundMe page: “Penn’s actions represent an unprecedented and deeply destructive threat to the practice and traditions of free expression on campus and the tenure protections afforded to professors who express unpopular views. They are further evidence of the “woke” takeover of our university system, which seeks to stifle and punish dissent and purge our campuses of any deviation from a narrow set of progressive dogmas.”

She said she is “committed to fighting Penn’s efforts to banish and punish me.”

The battle between Wax and the university began in January this year when Ruger said the school would investigate Wax’s conduct, which, according to Reuters, “has been a source of controversy at the Philadelphia campus for years.”

The university appointed law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to investigate Wax. In its report, the firm said it uncovered more than 10 instances when students said Wax made racist, sexist or homophobic comments in class. Ruger detailed the investigation’s findings in his June 23 letter to the faculty senate.

The racist comments were mainly made against the Black, Mexican and Asian communities, including Indian Americans. She has said publicly that the US would be “better off with fewer Asians,” has denigrated India, and said Black students perform poorly in her classes.

Wax wrote that Ruger’s letter to the faculty senate, is “littered with indignant invective and unsubstantiated and distorted claims” and alleges that she is one of the only conservative tenured professors in the Ivy League.

Wax wrote on her page: “Penn Law Dean Ruger’s latest steps are part of a longstanding campaign at Penn Law School against me based on my stated positions, opinions, and speech, and despite my stellar performance as an award-winning teacher and academic during my decades-long career as a law professor.”

The final decision making authority is the faculty senate which will issue a recommendation to the university president Elizabeth Magill. Wax has the right to appeal, according to the university rules.