“It would’ve been humorous a few months ago,” Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology at Boise State University, told the Chronicle of Higher Education after finding himself on the list. “It’s not funny now.”

But while Kirk told Slate columnist Rebecca Schuman that the aim of the watchlist “is not to threaten or harm the professors,” Schuman wonders “whether the intentions of his watch list make a difference—and whether this is a bell that can be unrung.”

“It doesn’t matter if the site wasn’t meant as a No-Goodnik Intellectual Kill List one day after Richard Spencer and his Jungen screeched Heil Trump,” she wrote. “Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo.”

Schuman continued:

Still, other academics merely see the existence of the list—and their inclusion on it—as par for the course.

“Personally, I regard being included on such a list as a badge of honor—like being on Richard Nixon’s ‘list,’ which existed when I first came to Rutgers,” said history professor Norman Markowitz in an email to NJ.com, in which he also compared the watchlist to rolls created by the 1938-75 House Un-American Activities Committee in its attempts to investigate allegations of communist activity.

“The strategy was first defamation and second guilt by association,” Markowitz said.

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