May 3, 2005

More at SIU

There's more verbage about Jonathan Bean and Southern Illinois University at Big Muddy IMC, The Southern, the Daily Illini, and Cliopatria (a Ralph Luker entry). As non-tenure-line instructor Michael Davidson points out, we do not have the entire story. I would not be surprised to find out that faculty on both sides of this at SIU have been behaving badly. That does not wipe away the larger issue of how one addresses concerns about a colleague and substantive, serious, even hurtful conflicts. Letters to the student newspaper do not seem the adult approach; stripping a faculty member of TA support does not seem to be the adult approach. As a union activist, I'm well aware of the tactical possibilities of public posturing. But at first glance, these events appear to go far beyond such tactics (and one engages in tactical posturing deliberately, after considering alternatives and planning an end game—something that I doubt happened at SIU).

Addition: Hiram Hover has the best lesson of all, here, with regard to this type of controversy: what if David Horowitz's bill had become law in Illinois?

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Posted in Academic freedom on May 3, 2005 9:19 AM |