Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The most aggravating sentence I read today 

I somehow didn't get to read Katherine Kersten's column on Macalester until this morning. Little of it is really news. University presidents rewarding boorish behavior at a graduation. A something-Studies department with a one-sided curriculum. A history department that teaches American history only from "diverse viewpoints", using the cheap diversity of race and sex. Student and faculty handbooks instructing how to reschedule exams that might conflict with the Wiccan religious calendar. And the usual passel of old liberals and new conservatives pining for a by-gone time when students didn't know what a professor's political views were.

You could throw a dart at any map with colleges on it, and you could write that story. Some may think this week's announced closing of Antioch College, a school renowned for leftist activism, might signal a change. I don't. It would take much, much more than a single school closing to get their attention.

No, the sentence that aggravated me -- really, just an adjective in the sentence -- came out of the mouth of Macalester's president.
Brian Rosenberg, the college president, sees no need for greater intellectual diversity at Macalester. "We work hard to see that the college is a safe place for all reasonable points of view to be expressed," he said.
Do you see the adjective? Here, let me emphasize it:
We work hard to see that the college is a safe place for all reasonable points of view to be expressed.
Dr. Rosenberg, who the hell are you to decide what is reasonable?

But of course, you support academic freedom.

Reasonably well, I'd guess. And I would bet that the survey Kersten mentions, that 2/3 of your political science majors think your students are intolerant of opposing political views, is reasonable?

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