Wildcrap: "Memo discourages faculty political activism"
First of all, the headline is biased considering that the memo only discourages lack of professionalism in faculty activism. Now to the story.
The Arizona Daily Wildcrap reports in its August 4th edition on UA president Peter Likins' memo to UA faculty entitled "Thoughts for the Political Season". Likins outlines university policy regarding what faculty are allowed and not allowed to do in regards to political activism. As much as I disagree with Likins on important issues, this is a good, unbiased letter.
The Wildcrap includes opinions from numerous UA professors who say that the letter is a political move to stifle free speech. Of course, they won't say the same thing about Iraq the Vote, Pride Alliance, and other socially liberal, university-funded propaganda programs. Free speech is only for them, it seems.
History and political science professor David Gibbs notes that it is the conservative movement, not liking to hear opposing opinions, that attempts to stifle free speech. Likins is hardly a conservative himself, so I would immediately count that as an irrelevant statement. While Gibbs' job is to discuss politics, politics can be discussed both in one's own opinion and as a devil's advocate. Thus is the ability of a truly skilled and knowledgeable political scientist. Just ask any Lincoln-Douglas debater (your humble coorespondent).
Gibbs is hardly qualified to speak on the issue, as I was his student in "Individuals and Societies 103: What is Politics?" during the Spring 2004 semester. Classes tend to be riddled with unproven conspiracy theories from the liberal side alone, along with anti-Bush jokes put in for his own self-entertainment. I do NOT recommend ever taking one of his classes, but simply dropping in some time to kill his arguments.
But don't let the Wildcat generate your opinion on this. Read the letter for yourself and see how the professors are overreacting. While I agree that professors should be able to do interviews during working hours (outside of class, granted), it should be on their own cell phones, not on the phones I paid for.