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.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.
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.
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.