Via Instapundit, we learned of this delightful sounding group of progressive academic activists who recently held their first meeting.

Jay Schalin of the John William Pope Center reports.

Faculty Attack Squad

“Fascists,” “bums,” and “killing machines.”

That’s how conservatives and Republicans were described at the initial meeting of a new organization of faculty members in North Carolina. The group, named  “Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina,” was formed in response to what organizers described as “the destructive course pursued by the state legislature.”

The group’s members are primarily faculty from the state’s public and private colleges and universities, although they are also partnering with the North Carolina Justice Center, a private non-profit organization that has long advocated for left-wing causes in the state.

The first public event was held on March 28 at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Roughly 150 people packed the meeting room; most were faculty, although others were activists and members of organizations affiliated with the state’s progressive community. Eight panelists, from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State, and N.C. Central, spoke briefly; the moderators were Lisa Levenstein of UNC-Greensboro and Jacquelyn Dowd Hall of UNC-Chapel Hill, both history professors.

The event raised some troubling questions. An email invitation to the gathering sent on March 18 by East Carolina University geology professor Catherine Rigsby is of ethical concern. The email was forwarded throughout the system’s faculty “listserv” service, with Rigsby also using her title of “Chair of the UNC Faculty Assembly.”

Should she have used the authority of her office and the taxpayer-provided UNC email system to recruit and organize for Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina?  And, in doing so, did she cross ethical lines by telling the system’s faculty members that the event was to be focused on higher education policy rather than on partisan politics?