May 8, 2012, 3:33 pm
Last night I learned that Naomi Schaefer Riley has been fired by The Chronicle of Higher Education from her position as one of the contributors on the Brainstorm blog. It was a poor decision by The Chronicle‘s editors, one of whom, Liz McMillen, explains it in “A Note to Readers.” Ms. McMillen also apologizes “for the distress these incidents have caused our readers.” As it happens, I had just drafted for Innovations a short essay which among other things praised The Chronicle’s editors for not giving in to demands that Riley be fired.
The Chronicle’s change of heart took me greatly by surprise. As a writer whose contributions to these pages have often been assailed, I’ve come to trust that The Chronicle is pretty sturdy in its defense of the principle that dissenters from academe’s typical left-wing orthodoxies should be heard, and that dialogue–even if sometimes caustic–is…