After Boston College administrators canceled tonight’s planned campus appearance by William Ayers, student organizers thought they had found a way for the lecture to go on, by video conference. But according to the college’s student newspaper, The Heights, administrators said today that the controversial University of Illinois at Chicago professor, who was a member of the Weather Underground in the 1970s, would not speak on the campus, period.
A written statement from the college’s vice president for student affairs, Patrick Rombalski, said “rumors” that Mr. Ayers would speak at an off-campus location or via teleconference were untrue, The Heights reported. “The truth is that Ayers will not speak today on campus or off campus, nor will there be an on-campus teleconference tonight,” the statement said. “We are exploring the possibility of working with the academic community to address the issues of civic activism and education within an appropriate academic forum at a future date.”
Administrators had cited safety concerns and sensitivity to community sentiment when they canceled the lecture last week. The college chapter of Americans for Informed Democracy, which had planned the lecture, was holding instead a discussion of academic freedom tonight. —Charles Huckabee