August 01, 2007

On The Abolition Of Tenure II; Churchill Updates

Stanley Kurtz has a follow-up to the recommendations he outlined yesterday.

Reason's Michael Moynihan argues that Churchill's own actions led to his downfall (h/t PirateBallerina):
But Churchill is disingenuous (or naïve) when expressing surprise that politically-motivated hatchet men would scrutinize his academic record. He is, after all, a political activist both in his private time and in his classroom. Fair or not, insert yourself into a contentious political debate, and expect to be treated like a politician.

Just ask Michael Bellesiles, author of the discredited book Arming America. Those who criticized the integrity of Bellesiles's book—which argued that the conventional wisdom regarding America's colonial gun culture was a mere "folk tale"—did so, the author harrumphed, for ideological reasons. His critics were engaging in rank "McCarthyism" and, as Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm wrote in reason, Bellesiles complained that the book had been "subjected to unfair, unprecedented scrutiny." But an Emory University commission disagreed, ruling that the book was marred not only by errors and distortions, but also phantom (i.e. invented) evidence. After the report was made public, he was fired and previous sponsors, like the National Endowment for the Humanities, pulled support. Bellesiles denounced it as a "political decision that should send chills through academics everywhere and is clearly intended as a warning to any scholar who dares to work on a controversial topic."
Is Hank Brown the model university president? One columnist thinks so.

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