Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Strange Views In Academia

Law students protest the hiring of a new professor, and the groupthink isn't pretty:

The trouble is that the petition in opposition to Professor Thio imagines her appointment as a violation of NYU's "own policy of nondiscrimination." In other words, gay students (and members of other historically disadvantaged groups) are said to suffer actual discrimination when the administration hires faculty members who argue against anti-discrimination laws. This confusion of speech and action -- of advocating for discrimination and actually engaging in it -- is common in academia, where academic freedom is too often limited to the freedom to advance prevailing ideals of equality.

Also important:

The refusal of law students even to hear opposing views, reflecting opposing moral codes, is particularly worrisome. I wouldn't want one of these future lawyers ever advocating for me. They're unlikely to learn how to argue effectively if they limit their law school debates to matters about which only presumptively reasonable people disagree. Uniformity of opinion breeds complacency, close-mindedness, and a tendency to mistake attitudes for arguments.
I worry about what passes for higher education these days.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

This is especially true in the highly ideological academic circles of the Ivy League, where political affiliations have far more to do with tenure than ability.