Day By Day

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Churchill, the larger context

In several earlier posts I pointed out the dangers of irresponsible behavior in academia. My point was that when such activities reach a sustained high level or become so egregious as they have in the Ward Churchill affair they invite interference from the political community. My call [crudely put] was for academics to grow up and start acting like responsible adults. Instapundit makes a similar point here.

He writes:
[T]he big question is whether it's politically viable for the academy to adopt a generally hostile and dismissive stance toward the larger society.... [I]n fact, and entirely apart from the fate of individual faculty members, state legislatures, boards of trustees, and alumni have a lot of power over universities if they choose to exercise it. They've mostly chosen to let academic administrators, and faculties, run universities without a lot of outside interference. But there's no guarantee that this state of affairs will persist if those outsiders conclude that universities are being run badly.

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