July 13, 2012, 5:24 pm
The dreadful scandal at Penn State reached another level on July 12, with the 250-page report of former FBI director Louis Freeh to the university’s board of trustees, culminating a seven-month independent investigation. The report makes clear the complicity of senior officials at the university in covering up convicted child molester and former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual assaults on children. The officials include head football coach, the late Joe Paterno, university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, university vice president Gary Schultz, and university police chief Thomas Harmon, all of whom knew enough of the facts to act but who chose instead to turn a blind eye to Sandusky’s concurrent career as a child molester.
The officials chose to pursue a cover up, according to Freeh, because of their fear of bad publicity.
August 23, 2011, 2:57 pm
Eros is notorious for its power to thwart our better judgment and to baffle the rational mind. It can draw us to destinations we would do better to avoid and can prompt forms of resistance that are themselves out of balance and a little crazy. Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure portrays a city under the interim rule of a Puritanical judge, Angelo, who would stamp out unlawful expressions of desire by draconian enforcement of the laws. Not only are his efforts futile, they turn out to be hypocritical, since Angelo himself turns seducer.
We are faced with a Measure for Measure moment in higher education today. On one hand, higher education is Angelo-like attempting to stamp out what it judges to be the wrong kinds of sexual expression. On the other hand, colleges and universities are dallying as never before with all sorts of “transgressive” sexual ideas. The main focus of all this is…
August 4, 2011, 4:46 pm
As someone who has criticized the AAUP on a number of occasions for diluting the definition of academic freedom, I want to note three recent cases in which the AAUP has taken commendable positions.
First, the AAUP, like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has opposed an action by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that would lower due-process protections in adjudicating student allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence.
Second and third, the AAUP has issued a report criticizing Louisiana State University for its 2009 firing of Ivor van Heerden and its 2010 treatment of Dominique Homberger.
The AAUP’s actions in all three instances are warranted and welcome.
The Van Heerden Case
Van Heerden was deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center who had been outspoken in faulting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. van Heerden had…