Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bérubé on Academic Freedom

Just finished listening to Michael Bérubé’s talk at Penn State last week. I am seriously challenged by long blog postings, so I elected to listen to, and watch, the streaming video from the website. I particularly liked how he pointed out how the radical right violate the principle they seek to uphold, academic freedom, by seeking to have a balance on the faculty. He also points out how attacks on academic freedom coincide with attacks on liberalism, and how the discussion of controversial issues is part of the job of a university professor, whether he or she be liberal or conservative. The stats he quotes on composition of the faculty and such went by quickly in audio, but can be examined more carefully in the blog posting. To us in state universities, Bérubé’s comment that as state support declines (where state funds provide only about 10% of Penn State’s operating budget), calls for state accountability increase, certainly rings true. Ironies abound in this latest round of attacks on academic freedom. And do read or listen to what Bérubé says about Sidney Hook and Ward Churchill.

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