November 11, 2007

Who will defend faculty on a non-ideological basis?

Erin O'Connor  has rightly criticized the assignment of an associate provost to watch a class in a blog entry titled How to destroy a teacher. She frames it as "a caricature of how the campus thought police destroy the learning environment for both students and teachers."

In a comment I left on the entry, I had asked her whether she would similarly criticize an administrative observer if the case had been a faculty accused by teachers of political indoctrination. She hasn't made my comment public, nor has she responded to the issue. Let me be clear: it's her blog, and she can follow a screening/moderating policy if she wishes. I just think it's a fair and relevant question: are we going to criticize administrative interventions based on the political issues of the day, or are we going to have some basic principles that we follow regardless of the issues du jour?

Update: In a comment, O'Connor notes that software sometimes eats comments. True enough, and I'll try posting the comment again. Listen to this article
Posted in Academic freedom on November 11, 2007 10:15 AM |