TDS Update: This afternoon, seven new signatories showed up on the TDS "Unfire Ward Churchill" petition—and one disappeared. For some reason, the "signature" of Ilene Grabel, an Associate Professor of International Finance at the University of Denver, is gone from the list. We've emailed Professor Grabel asking for additional information; as always, we'll keep you posted.
Update (9:46am, 1Aug06): We received email confirmation from Professor Grabel that she did, in fact, have her name removed from the TDS petition, but she did not explain her motivation.
One of PB's regular readers, Rex, has posted a comment here that throws down and dances upon the dearly-held and widely-touted leftist "truth" that Colorado taxpayers only account for 7% of CU's funding; it warrants repeating here (with some typos corrected) on our front page, which we now do (for your edification or chagrin):
The University of Colorado is a Morrill-Land Grant college. It was founded by the Colorado State Legislature in 1876 using federal monies raised through the Morrill Land Grant law (1862). The land upon which the University rests is public. The physical assets of the University by and large have been paid through public monies. Any money granted to the University of Colorado (even with strings attached) becomes public monies. Tuition and fees paid to the University of Colorado, since it is part of the State of Colorado, are by definition user fees. This is a specific type of tax. (check any decent High School Government text book if you disagree, I would suggest MacGruder's since that was what I used when I taught American Government.) Thus they are public monies. In short the University of Colorado was built by the State of Colorado, for the people of Colorado (hence the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates or user-tax rates). All of this investment does not show up in the annual budget of the University since the vast majority of it is held in fixed assets and principle. How much money comes directly from the State of Colorado through annual broad-based state taxes rather than user fees, grant monies, or donations is irrelevant. All monies, past and present, and assets, liquid and fixed, at the University of Colorado are public monies and the State of Colorado is required under its fiduciary obligations to the tax-payers of Colorado to have oversight of CU. That includes employment.
TDS has posted Professor Dean Saitta's Anthropology Today (August '06 issue) editorial on "Higher Education and the Dangerous Professor: The Challenges for Anthropology." Our favorite passage:
[David] Horowitz’ model of appropriate pedagogy is hierarchical and elitist. It evokes an image of tweedy professors filling up empty-headed and easily indoctrinable students with what is presumed to be disinterested, value-free knowledge. Horowitz bases his ABOR campaign on governing documents of the AAUP, but like all historical documents even these carry epistemological and sociological baggage. Witness the 1915 AAUP academic freedom statement that instructed teachers to avoid expressing their opinions until a student has ‘sufficient knowledge and ripeness of judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his own’ (emphasis added [by Saitta]). Even first principles sometimes need refining in order to keep pace with progress in how we understand the world....ah, Saitta's implicit criticism of the 1915 AAUP statement actually identifies one of most prevalent problems with modern higher education: Activist-academics foisting value-judgements on students while neglecting (quite purposely) to prepare these same students to evaluate facts and opinions critically in order that they might themselves make rational and well-reasoned value-judgments. But then, where would we get Ethnics Studies professors?
Later, in the same paragraph, Saitta engages in some classic understatement (emphasis ours):
Of course, our one non-negotiable professional obligation is to establish a congenial classroom environment in which students can safely express and battle-test their own convictions and biases, no matter how ‘unripe’. As with any profession, some teachers are better at this than others.
Speaking of "critical thinking," the TDS "Unfire Ward Churchill" petition currently [as of this morning; see the TDS Update above for newer info] has 389 signatures, a fifth of which (75) are from professors of the "[your victimhood here] studies" variety. Another interesting factoid: at least 13% (51) of the signers are sociologists. Yet another factoid: only 41 of Horowitz' "100 most dangerous professors" have signed. Still other factoids:
Professors of Engineering who have signed: 0.
Professors of Mathematics who have signed: 0.
Professors of Biology who have signed: 0.
Professors of Physics who have signed: 27. (okay, we made that up; so far, only one London physicist has signed.)
"Independent scholars" of indeterminate credentials who have signed: 16.
Apparent members of something called the SnowStar Institute of Religion who have signed: 7.
Individuals claiming affiliation with institutions outside the US who signed: 36.