Friday, January 27, 2006

"Well, King's there, so there's no problem!" 

There are times on campus where I think I'm used as the conservative token. "Oh, King's on that committee, so we've had a diversity of thought on this issue." My eyes roll heavenward. It makes no more sense to me to put a conservative on a committee, say, that hears a discussion of academic freedom than it does to be sure there's a faculty member of color on every search committee.

Another professor here at SCSU, Phyllis VanBuren, has written an editorial on SCSU's debate of academic freedom. After about six months of discussion, we got the faculty senate to agree to the 1940 AAUP "Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure." That's a good thing, and though there's still much to debate over how we will make the university adhere to the statement, that's a debate worth having. Prof. VanBuren recounts many of the things that this blog has devoted itself to over the last three and a half years. It's a nice piece, well worth the read, and I'm happy to include Prof. VanBuren among my colleagues who want there to be greater intellectual diversity on campuses.

I'm more amused, however, by the SCTimes chatters, one of whom refers to this blog as "enough bias on either "side" to balance out."
My point with the SCSU Scholars site was because most people I talk to assume that college bias is liberal.

I am thinking in business classes, the default is going to be slightly Republican, and in the social services field, it is going to be Democrat, because of people who are attracted to those sorts of fields in the first place. That's just one example.
To Laura of Saint Cloud I say, first, that we're not in the college of business but in the college of social sciences. You're right that social services tend to be Democrat, but so too are economists, unless you want to take refuge in the knowledge that the ratio of Republicans to Democrats is "only" 1 to 3. Of course, maybe it's selection bias -- but that says very little for me!

Prof. VanBuren asks at the end of her article, "Who wrote that sunshine is the best disinfectant?" Long-time readers of the Scholars will know that it used to be in our banner, and that the quote comes from Justice Brandeis. But I am just a flashlight, not the sun.

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