Monday, April 17, 2006

Another win for academic freedom

I don't know who the current president of Meredith College is (the old guy was just leaving at the time my wife was there), but kudos to the faculty for standing up to her and to her sneaky D-Ho-type friends:

Meredith College faculty reject BB&T money:
The faculty at Meredith College in Raleigh struck a blow for academic freedom Friday, and in so doing, might've cost the college $420,000 from the BB&T Charitable Foundation. At issue: A grant from BB&T--$60,000 a year for seven years--for an honors program featuring, apparently at the bank's insistence, such right-wing texts as Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Frederick Hayek's The Road to Serfdom.
Read the whole thing for background and details.

A few years back, they decided to get rid of the Southern Baptist sponsorship. Their worries about loosing all that money were apparently unwarranted. Happy with that decision, many others pitched in. Last time I was on campus I saw the brand new science building.

As for the course, I hope that, whoever is teaching the course will use the Rand and Hayek's writing to teach the studnets the critical thinking skills. Those works are alluring and deceptive in their erzatz "sophistication", and can be used fruitfully to teach skills like: fact-checking, detecting logical fallacies, and exploring how dangerous putting such ideas to practice is.

(Cross-posted on Science And Politics)

Technorati Tag: teaching-carnival


Blogger Deep Thought said...

Ayn Rand never formalized a philosophy (and what she did write was rather... disjointed), but why do you object to the study of the most famous work of a Nobel Laureate? Adding in the fact that the Road to Serfdon influenced the economic policies of the Western world to this day and excluding it because it is "conservative" seems a bit doctrinaire.

1:28 AM  

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