Monday, July 21, 2003

Lockstep Faculty: Here's the first local story I've seen on the Smith College prof who was allegedly denied tenure for his political views. (I say "allegedly" but the story indicates that the school grievance committee backed him up.)
James D. Miller of Pelham claims that Smith violated his academic freedom by denying him tenure this year in the economics department. And the college grievance committee agrees.

"Smith has a code of academic freedom that says you can't be punished for expressing critical views," Miller said in an interview this month. He wrote articles for the National Review and the Weekly Standard, both conservative publications.

"I've no doubt if my journalism appeared in The Nation (a liberal journal), I would have gotten tenure," Miller said.

I've followed this with some interest since I first read Miller's stuff in NR, where he's made some waves about academia before, and I've become convinced, though first-hand and second-hand experience, that the caricature of the social sciences as "politics by other means" is true. That doesn't men that there isn't good work being done out there, but there is a whole lot of chaff for every kernel of wheat.

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