James Sallis quit as an adjunct professor at Phoenix College in the middle of the semester when called on to sign the state of Arizona’s loyalty oath.
Sallis’ name first became familiar to fans as a New Wave author who had two stories in Again, Dangerous Visions, though his literary reputation derives from many later works, such as his novel Drive, which was made into a film starring Ryan Gosling.
Arizona has a loyalty oath requirement for all employees of the state or other government units.
“I never imagined that things like this were still around. It horrified me,” Sallis said in an interview Monday.
Officials at the college told the station that it had no choice under state law but to require Sallis to sign. The officials said that, in preparation for an accreditation review, the college reached out to 800 adjunct instructors — Sallis among them — and found that some of them had never signed the loyalty oath, and that they have been told they must do so to keep their jobs. Sallis had taught at the school for 14 years.
The text of the oath is a pledge to —
“support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Inside Higher Ed reports —
Students are expressing outrage over the enforcement of the loyalty oath rule, and are saying that they signed up for a course with Sallis because he would be the instructor. E. J. Montini, a columnist for The Arizona Republic, quoted from a student letter to the college. “He provided an opportunity for the kind of world-class instruction that is typically only accessible to those who attend prestigious and expensive M.F.A. programs.”
[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh for the story.]