Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Universities and "Controversial" Speakers

The University of Wyoming has canceled a scheduled speech by one-time terrorist William Ayers:

In a statement released by the university, UW President Tom Buchanan supported the decision to cancel Ayers.

"The University of Wyoming is one of the few institutions remaining in today's environment that garner the confidence of the public. The visit by Professor Ayers would have adversely impacted that reputation," Buchanan said...

He (Ayers) was invited by the UW Social Justice Research Center, a privately endowed center that studies problems of oppression and inequalities among different social groups in society...

"Observers in and outside the university would be incorrect to conclude that UW simply caved in to external pressure," Buchanan said in the statement. "Rather, I commended the director of the center for a willingness to be sensitive to the outpouring of criticism, evaluate the arguments and reconsider the invitation."

Meanwhile, CSU Stanislaus is taking flak for inviting one-time governor of Alaska and current conservative voice Sarah Palin to speak at a fundraiser:

Organizers knew that inviting former vice presidential candidate and ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to California State University, Stanislaus, would generate talk.

"I didn't know it would be this big, this fast," said Matt Swanson, president of the university foundation, which invited Palin to headline a black-tie fund-raiser June 25...

Swanson said the speaking contract precludes the foundation from disclosing the payment amount. He said no previous foundation money went to pay Palin.

"This event is being 100 percent funded with fresh, private money coming into the foundation," he said.

And it's bringing in more money, between sponsorships, table reservations and tickets, which are selling fast.

You might imagine that some are opposed to her presence on campus, and you'd be correct.

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