Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ward Churchill

Having lived most of my life in a college town I have seen the so called "Acedemic Freedom"(or as I like to call it "your garanteed right to stupidity") and it's results up close. So things like the Ward Churchill flap aren't all that surprising to me. (round up here) I've heard feminists complain that the internet is to chauvanistic and women are repressed on the web. I've heard intellectuals discuss the value of regular heroin use. I've seen leftism so extreme that it has almost caused hyperventalation.

So this article in The American Spectator was of peticular interest to me:
This cornerstone isn't exactly of an ancient coloring. It wasn't laid at Oxford, Bologna or Cambridge -- the scholars who started these schools would be surprised to learn that the promotion of irrationality is the university's founding purpose. No, this cornerstone was laid more recently at, say, Berkeley, and on its wobbly footing professors have been giving impressionable minds the chance to experience stupidity ever since.

That embracing dumb ideas is the cornerstone on which universities are now built explains why those who exercise reason and demand the observance of rational standards are treated as the only real threats to academic freedom. It explains why tenured professorships are meted out not on the basis of intelligence but its absence -- on a kind of promise not to use one's mind should it conflict with reigning academic dogmas. Playing dumb is now an academic job requirement. Literally dumb: you must not say or see certain things.
Heh, and I thought you only had to be dumb about technology to be a proffessor.

UPDATE: Also check out this article by a liberal leaning proffessor:
Too often, these sentiments are abused by those who sacrifice intellectual integrity while engaging in the most extreme forms of preferential hiring. Ward Churchill's career provides a lurid illustration of what can happen - indeed, of what we know will happen - when academic standards are prostituted in the name of increasing diversity.

Tenure and academic freedom are hard to defend if they don't provide us who benefit from them with the minimal degree of courage necessary to say, when confronted by someone like Churchill, enough is enough.
Remeber diversity of ethinicity is not the same as diversity of thought.