It’s time to fire Stanford Dean Tirien Steinbach
March 16, 2023
There has been a widespread, repeated call for Stanford University to fire Tirien Steinbach, an associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at Stanford Law School, to be fired.
Stanford responded to Steinbach’s actions, detailed below, with a limp apology. Stanford’s student newspaper and several major outlets have criticized the university’s response. But Steinbach is still employed by the university.
Accuracy in Media knows it is easier to ignore online criticism than it is to ignore a giant mobile billboard — so we sent one to Stanford. And we’ve connected our activists to FireTirien.com, which sends a message directly to the Stanford Board of Trustees.
Steinbach held the “COVID, Guns and Twitter” event at Stanford Law’s Federalist Society last week with Kyle Duncan, a judge appointed by former President Donald Trump. But the event quickly “descended into a smear campaign – with the DEI dean using the opportunity to engage in a 6-minute scolding of the judicial officer due to his unfavorable opinions on same-sex marriage and trans and reproductive rights,” according to the Daily Mail.
After more than 10 minutes of being shouted down by students while trying to give his remarks, Duncan asked for the help of a university administrator. Steinbach, who had been present the whole time and did nothing to quiet the disruptors, came to the podium.
“The judge asked to speak with her privately but she refused. Then she took out a prepared text (!) and laced into … Duncan,” according to the Boston Globe.
The Stanford Review, the school’s student newspaper, immediately called for her dismissal in an article simply headlined “Fire Tirien Steinbach.”
The Boston Globe said the law school “disgraced itself.” The Atlantic dedicated a whole piece to “What Stanford Law’s DEI Dean Got Wrong.” The Washington Post also put out a piece criticizing how the law school handled the situation. Duncan himself weighed in on the school’s apology in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.
The university issued an apology, but the Stanford Review wrote that that is not enough.
“The university’s apology will be completely meaningless unless concrete actions are taken to rid the administration of anti-speech zealots. Stanford claims that they “are taking steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again.” If Stanford cares about free speech, it must fire any administrator who actively encourages these unruly actions against it.
“Someone who is so eager, at the behest of an unruly mob, to shut down free speech, which Stanford itself considers ‘a bedrock principle for the law school, the university, and a democratic society,” has no place as a Stanford dean. She helped engineer chaos with her email before the event, delivered prepared remarks interrupting his speech, took the spotlight for herself, and has shown no remorse since.”
An apology is meaningless without action — tell Stanford that they must actually stand for the free speech they claim to defend. Click here to take action now.