In the summary spirit of the season, Accuracy in Academia offers 10 reasons for ending tenure:
1) To not put the president’s favorite professor at the top of this roster would be a gross injustice. “At a press conference on August 20, America’s Survival, Inc. unveiled the results of several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made regarding the curriculum and activities of University of Illinois at Chicago professor Bill Ayers,” AIA staff writer Bethany Stotts wrote on August 25, 2009. “Ayers has visited Germany, the Netherlands, and Venezuela to advance his educational ideals, said Cliff Kincaid, President of America’s Survival and editor of Accuracy in Media. “The so-called World [Education] Forum in Venezuela carried the title ‘Bolivarian Education and the Overcome of the Capitalist School,’” he said. “Ayers in his speech of 2006 made reference then to this being his fourth trip to Venezuela.”
2) Similarly, it would be unfair not to include Ayers’ wife―Northwestern University professor Bernardine Dohrn―alongside her husband in any honorable mentions. “Officers of the San Francisco Police Officers Association charge that Ayres and Dohrn are largely responsible for the bombing of a police station that killed Sgt. Brian McDonnell and injured eight other officers on February l6, l970,” columnist Allen C. Brownfeld wrote in a column that AIA posted on April 3, 2009. “San Francisco police leaders say there are ‘irrefutable and compelling reasons’ that establish the responsibility of Ayers and Dohrn for the bombing. No one has ever been charged with this attack. However, former FBI informant Larry Grathwohl ― who was an undercover member of the Weather Underground ― has implicated both Ayers and Dohrn in sworn testimony and in his l976 book.”
3) The Fox News Channel’s frequent guest, Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill, is also worth noting, and AIM editor Cliff Kincaid has. “In fact, Hill, a self-described public intellectual, is an acknowledged expert on ‘hip-hop culture,’ a category defined as including break-dancing, rapping, graffiti writing, slang, and other such activities,” Kincaid observed. “Much less well-known is Hill’s record of involvement in ‘revolutionary’ causes, including support for convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, a member of the terrorist Black Liberation Army (BLA) now living as a fugitive from justice in Communist Cuba.”
4) Another oldie but goodie is University of Michigan professor Juan Cole. “From his perch in Ann Arbor, he tried to explain away Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ by claiming―inaccurately―that it was a mistranslation,” Jonathan Schanzer of the Jewish Policy Center notes.
5) From this headlining quartet, we move on to some lesser known but noteworthy notables. Patrick J. Greene, an education professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, objected to an after hours screening of the documentary Not Evil, Just Wrong, which shows that a British court found former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, inconveniently inaccurate on nine out of ten counts brought against it. “It also is a fundamentalist right-wing set of lies about the environmental necessity to control our carbon emissions so that our children and there’s [sic] can have the same quality of life that we enjoy,” Greene wrote in an e-mail. “This film, [sic] also represents the polar opposite of what FGCU is trying to inculcate into our students through the Colloquium requirement, namely a profound respect and understanding of our environmental responsibilities. If you feel that our lust for power should allow corporations to damage our health, well-being and future then present that idea in a forum that shows some responsibility to the University that is educating you.”
6) Dr. John Nirenberg, of the online Walden University “joins much of the professoriate in opposing former President George W. Bush, but has taken the animus farther than most,” Bethany Stotts reported on October 21, 2009. “In December 2007 he launched a one-man march from Boston to Washington, D.C. to press for the impeachment of then- Vice President Dick Cheney and then- President George W. Bush.”
7) Although he makes a stab at fairness few of his compatriots would, Illinois State University professor Andrew Hartman, himself an admitted Marxist, offers up some fairly typical revisionist history. “In other words, schools were not simply the expression of ruling class domination, but, rather, they functioned as the sites and the means of realization of that domination,” he writes in his book on Education And The Cold War: The Battle For The American School. “Educational ideology was not necessarily the sole product of bourgeois class-consciousness, but rather the product of bourgeois domination of the educational process. Educational struggles were dialectical: education was not the pure instrument of the ruling class, it was a stake in a very bitter and continuous class struggle.”
8) For academic freedom in reverse it’s hard to top NYU’s law school dean, Richard Revesz. “Dr. Thio Li-ann, professor at the National University of Singapore, was invited to teach at New York University Law School this fall,” Susan Fani of the Catholic League wrote in a release that AIA posted on August 6, 2009. “After it was discovered that the Christian professor, while serving as a Singaporean lawmaker in 2007, opposed a repeal of the law proscribing homosexual acts, NYU students and alumni organized to protest her appointment.” Revesz blamed her for creating “an unwelcoming atmosphere: and said that “she replied to them [critics of her appointment] in a manner that many member [sic] of our community―myself included―consider offensive and hurtful” although he failed to produce any quotes to support this claim. Rounding out the list, appropriately enough, are
9) Sondra Solovay &
10) Esther Rothblum. “The field of fat studies invites scholars to pause, interrupt everyday thinking (or failure to think) about fat, and do something daring and bold,” they wrote in the Chronicle Review. “Moving beyond challenging assumptions, they must question the very questions that surround fatness and fat people. They must not be satisfied by noting that people diet and asking why―they must ask why we continue to expect people to diet.” Solovay teaches at the John F. Kennedy University School of Law and at San Francisco Law School while Rothblum teaches Women’s Studies at San Diego State University.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.