Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Open attack on academic freedom and free speech

Look at this clip of an interview with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. The host, Mike Gousha, asks specifically about tenure, "why do changes need to be made?" Starting around 2:00, Fitzgerald responds with this:
The idea that anybody should be protected from any kind of criticism when they make public comments or even the way they handle themselves on campus is just not sitting well with many of us. 
He shortly thereafter comes back around to talk about professors being "completely protected", in case you found "anybody" ambiguous.

Now, tenure is not about criticism that I can see and faculty are hardly protected from criticism (see below or, my god, read a newspaper). What we are protected from is being fired for doing legitimate research or speaking our minds. That's surely what he means.

And you do know that there's already political consequences for people doing normal research, including firing and public calls for firing: (1) firing a bunch of scientists from the Department of Natural Resources who had worked on politically charged issues and (2) a sitting state senator making scathing attacks on a professor because of his research.

The house is on fire, folks.

Image in recognition of Donald Trump announcement that he's running for president. In case the news wasn't insane enough for you yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's a list of examples relevant to this: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/plain-talk-watch-your-back-if-you-work-for-the/article_f063f4cd-be98-592b-b78a-b8a25b43d9fe.html#ixzz3dKe2hcBG