Professor Rick Steiner has a challenge for this week’s “Cluster Douche” award winner, University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton.
Too bad Hamilton hasn’t taken a cue from Palin and quit…with his upcoming retirement, he’s a lame duck president.
President Hamilton —Given recent circumstances, I would like to invite you to debate with me, openly and publicly, re: the issue of academic freedom, and the influence of corporate donations to the university.You have said many things in support of academic freedom over the years, but when push came to shove in my case, you made a decision in opposition to free speech.In 2002, you received an award for your support of academic freedom from a group calling itself the “National Association of Scholars”, who it turns out, actually opposes sustainability movements on today’s college campuses. They say that sustainability is “deceptive, coercive, closed-minded, a pseudo-religion, distorts higher education, shrinks freedom, programs people, is anti-rational, by-passes faculty, and is wasteful.” This group apparently supports free speech only when they agree with what is spoken, and opposes it when they disagree with what is spoken. Apparently this is your position as well. That you chose to accept an award fro this group calls into serious question the progressive character of the University of Alaska.All of this is an extremely serious transgression of the very role a university is supposed to fulfill in civil society.I look forward to your reply, and to debating this issue publicly and honestly.Sincerely, Rick Steiner, Professor