100 arguments against tenure, Part III

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment


Drawn from the profiles we’ve done of professors so far this year, we offer the following pedagogues as proof that tenure doesn’t work but because they are so numerous, we have to give them to you in installments.

Here is part 3:


  1. New York University sociologist Richard Sennett saw in the anniversary of the 9-11-01 attacks upon the United States an occasion to bash TEA parties.
  2. NYU president John Sexton claims that the high cost of education is indicative of its quality.
  3. Michael Scheuer of Georgetown University, debated himself on the pages of The American Conservative and lost.  
  4. John D. Schwetman of the  University of Minnesota-Duluth is yet another comic-book scholar. Weren’t college students supposed to read beyond this level?
  5. Ellen Shearer, Medill bisected a long journalism career with a stint as public affairs director for the American Federation of Teachers teachers’ union
  6. Peter Slevin, Medill is an old favorite of Accuracy in Academia’s sister group, Accuracy In Media. In a story he filed while still at the Washington Post five years ago, “Slevin claimed in the second paragraph that the constitution ‘forbids the government to show preference for any religious denomination,’” AIM editor Cliff Kincaid pointed out.“Oh really?” Kincaid asked. “Where does it say that?” It doesn’t.
  7. Richard Somerville of the University of California-San Diego says “we know CO2 is increasing and it’s because of humans” even though we don’t.
  8. Murray Sperber of Berkeley actually points to largely discredited sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey as a good argument for tenure.
  9. In a course for which she was named Maryland teacher of the year, Deborah Stearns, of Montgomery College asks her students “to name all of the sexual terms that they know, no matter how vulgar or taboo they might be,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  10. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University economist, blames the Iraq War for the subprime mortgage crisis but not Fannie Mae, an agency he exonerated before the fact.
  11. Margaret Stock, University of Alaska-Anchorage imagines there’s no country.
  12. Geoffrey R. Stone of the University of Chicago claims that “during the Cold War, as Americans were whipped up to frenzy of fear of the ‘Red Menace,’ loyalty programs, political infiltration, blacklisting, legislative investigations, and criminal prosecutions of supposed Communist ‘subversives’ and sympathizers swept the nation,” ignoring the information unearthed since then showing that there was some validity to the concerns..
  13. Cynthia Tucker recently took a position at the University of Georgia and left The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. “In a discussion on immigration reform on the Chris Matthews show liberal columnist Cynthia Tucker mentioned that when Bush and the GOP controlled Congress three years ago (2007) they couldn’t get it done either,” Accuracy in Media chairman Don Irvine wrote on May 10, 2010. “I guess she missed the 2006 election results.”
  14. Richard Wald, the Fred W. Friendly professor of professional practice in Media and Society at Columbia University, as an ABC news producer in the 1990s, gave the green light to the network’s hit job on the non-union Food Lion supermarket chain in which undercover union operatives manufactured evidence of unsanitary practices by the company that the network broadcast as actual.
  15. Michelle Weinberger, Medill presented research on ‘Non-Participation in Consumption Rituals–A Christmas Story’ at the American Sociological Association Conference in August [2010],” Medill Matters, “a newsletter of the faculty’s research and creative/professional accomplishments” reports.
  16. John Welty, president of Fresno State University, so anxious to pass the federal DREAM Act that he overlooked the legal status, or lack thereof, of one of the student organizers promoting it.
  17. Lawrence Weschler of NYUI predicts that “such people as will still be around in 2061 will be too busy dealing with the rampaging effects of global warming” to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks upon the United States.
  18. Betsy West, an associate professor of professional practice at the Columbia University School of Journalism, was one of the CBS producers fired for giving the go-ahead to the manufactured story of President Bush’s combat avoidance that brought down legendary anchorman Dan Rather.
  19. 19.  Miles White, University of Seattle,  author of From Jim Crow to Jay-Z: Race, Rap and the Performance of Masculinity.
  20. Medill’s Patti Wolter “spent five years as the managing editor and Editor in chief of The Neighborhood Works, a small advocacy magazine then-published by the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology.”
  21. L. Randall Wray, Bard College, applies think system economics to the U. S. economy.
  22. Kay R. Young of the University of California at Santa Barbara managed to work breast-feeding into a discussion on Charles Dickens and
  23. Van Jones may have been too left-wing to work in the Obama White House but his ideology made him a perfect fit for Princeton.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org



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