Saturday, November 03, 2007

Profs Bad; Regents Worse

The Week section of National Review’s Oct. 8 print edition (not on Net) contained this editorial note:

You know you have a dim view of Larry Summers when even his Harvard-based persecutors think you’ve gone too far.

Such is the case with the professorial rabble at the University of California-Davis. Some of them recently circulated a petition asking the UC system’s board of regents to rescind its invitation to Summers to address a gathering of said board.

Summers, the petition claimed, “has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia.”

This was too much even for Judith Ryan, the Harvard professor who led the campaign to oust Summers as the university’s president. She told the Harvard Crimson that the UC professors “have fallen prey to a simplification that became wide-spread in media reports. . . .When all is said and done, we should be able to listen to views with which we don’t agree, and to debate them in a civil way.”

Well, obviously – though Professor Ryan didn’t follow her own advice in the first instance. And the UC regents haven’t either: They caved to their tenured herd and disinvited Summers. So, the UC system, always plagued by silliness, has just become a little more debased.
I’ll bet those profs who circulated and signed the petition will tell you that not only are they “passionate” about academic freedom, but that they welcome students who question what they say and call attention to their errors.

What’s more I’ll bet they'll tell you they never, never grade retaliate, no matter how outspoken a student is.

The profs’ actions were bad; the regents’ cave-in was worse.

Regents, trustees and alumni need to start standing up to politically and academically intolerant professors.


Anonymous said...

Over at DIW there has been a discussion of terms for what we're seeing in higher education. Personally, I like the notion of "thought police" and "mind righting"- both seem applicable at UC Davis.

bill anderson said...

Truly, truly pathetic. These are thoroughly destructive people. It is not hard to understand the mentality of the G88 when you see jackasses like these people in action.

Anonymous said...

Bill: This phenomenon is becoming commonplace. How can it be halted? I wonder why anyone would want his child to be exposed to such destructive people.

Looking Glass said...

Anonymous said...

"This phenomenon is becoming commonplace. How can it be halted?"

It's just going to get worse. A lot worse. Ever more brainwashed cohorts are being supplied by the K-12 system.

Stopping it would be like stopping an avalanche.

Like the MSM all anyone can do is avoid it as much as possible.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

One Antonio Gramsci seems to have succeeded. Per Wikipedia: "he claimed that modern intellectuals were not simply talkers, but directors and organisers who helped build society and produce hegemony by means of ideological apparatuses such as education and the media."

Does anyone doubt that this hegemony is largely in place today?

Taylor and Johnson had done society a major service in illuminating precisely how corrosive and widespread the process is among education and media people. The battle's not wholly lost - some educational and media people have belatedly recognized that the PC hegemonists of the lynch mob were anything but liberals respecting the UW Constution. But the initial stampede shows how well the Gramsci process has advanced in dominating the gut feelings of our lordly 'intellectuals'.

Ken said...

So long as the professors have unlimited job security provided by tenure, there will be unlimited abuse of everyone else. Academics know that there are no consequences for bad behavior. The tenure system sets up a self perpetuating aristocracy that cannot be reformed without destroying the system.

Academic freedom has become an excuse for academic abuse. Unless academics have to compete for jobs like everyone else, they will be tempted to act like a compromise between gang lords and the children of robber barons.