April 20, 2005
VINCE CARROLL NOTES that academic freedom seems to be a one-way street:
Remember the proclamation of 29 professors at the University of Denver College of Law denouncing the inquiry into Ward Churchill because "the critique of conventional wisdom, or the accepted way of doing (or seeing) things, is essential to fostering the public debate that is necessary to prevent tyranny"?
Remember the ringing declaration of 199 faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, also in defense of Churchill, on the importance of an "environment in which ideas may be exchanged even in the face of widespread doubt, incomprehension and hostility"?
Does such an unfettered intellectual environment actually exist on any Colorado campus?
In the journal Academic Questions, former Gov. Richard Lamm recounts an incident that suggests, once again, the answer is emphatically no.
Lamm, who is a tenured professor at DU, tried to publish an article in The Source, a newspaper run by the administration there, "in response to a particularly offensive screed on white racism by one of our affirmative action officials."
Yet despite personal pleas he took up the DU ladder right into the chancellor's office, his essay was repeatedly rejected.
It is now online at educationation.org/blog/?p=51. Provocative? Undoubtedly. Offensive? Obviously to some. But if Churchill can call for violence and the destruction of America, surely Lamm can argue that the cultural component in personal success is much larger than many of us wish to concede.
Or can he?
On the Internet, speech is still free.