This story is disturbing, to say the very least.

Jonathan H. Adler writes for the Washington Post:

How Northwestern University is throwing academic freedom under the bus (and wasting money) under the guise of Title IX compliance

Laura Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern University. She’s also a prominent feminist author. Earlier this year she wrote an article decrying the new sexual politics on college campuses. The article prompted some controversy — and then some. As a consequence of the article, and a subsequent tweet, Kipnis has found herself subject to a Title IX investigation at her own university.

Not one to be cowed, Kipnis writes about her ongoing ordeal in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Here’s a taste, but you should read the whole thing.

Things seemed less amusing when I received an email from my university’s Title IX coordinator informing me that two students had filed Title IX complaints against me on the basis of the essay and “subsequent public statements” (which turned out to be a tweet), and that the university would retain an outside investigator to handle the complaints.

I stared at the email, which was under-explanatory in the extreme. I was being charged with retaliation, it said, though it failed to explain how an essay that mentioned no one by name could be construed as retaliatory, or how a publication fell under the province of Title IX, which, as I understood it, dealt with sexual misconduct and gender discrimination. . . .

Much of this remains puzzling to me, including how someone can bring charges in someone else’s name, who is allowing intellectual disagreement to be redefined as retaliation, and why a professor can’t write about a legal case that’s been nationally reported, precisely because she’s employed by the university where the events took place. Wouldn’t this mean that academic freedom doesn’t extend to academics discussing matters involving their own workplaces?

So, just to make things clear: Northwestern University is spending thousands of dollars to hire attorneys to investigate a professor for the content of an essay and subsequent tweets because some members of the university community were offended.