Category Archives: Uncategorized

Institute’s Housing Plan Accommodates Preservation Concerns

To the Editor:

This is in response to an advertorial placed in the April 15 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education by the Save Princeton Coalition regarding its efforts against the Institute for Advanced Study’s project to build faculty housing. This group, formed by the Civil War Trust, has distributed letters, advertisements, and other materials that repeatedly misstate facts and imply that the Institute is acting irresponsibly, paying no heed to preservationist concerns. This is simply …

Breach of Ethics to Let Political Differences Affect Student Assessment

To the Editor:

I am a professor at a large public university. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre I founded a gun-control organization in my state. The NRA has gone after me personally, and I regularly receive communication from gun extremists so vicious and threatening that my university threat-assessment team has had to open my mail. In short, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in higher education who understands the nihilistic derangement of American gun extremism better than I do. Ye…

Response to Guns on Campus Should Not Be to Sit Back and Watch

To the Editor:

Erik Gilbert’s gun-sales-friendly speculation (“Stop Worrying About Guns in the Classroom. They’re Already Here,The Chronicle, March 17) seems infected by the blithe, market-serving attitude now strangely common among academics, especially administrators, whose stock response to large or small problems is “These events are virtually geological. Relax, and watch this happen.” In the case of the issue of arming students, such fatalistic vagueness is even, if possible, stupider…

Colleges Should Acknowledge Role in Injustice Toward Native Americans

To the Editor:

Thank you for your interesting article, “Many Colleges Profited From Slavery. What Can They Do About It Now?” (The Chronicle, April 19). I am pleased that there is a discourse that is developing to acknowledge how some American universities and colleges have profited from slavery by using enslaved people to construct their campus buildings.

You write that “Most major universities agree they have an ethical obligation to acknowledge their historical connections to the trans-Atlan…

Student’s Political Beliefs Should Be Irrelevant

To the Editor:

Professor Payne’s reflection on her “predicament” regarding whether to write her pro-gun student “Sarah” a letter of recommendation (“Guns, Pancakes, and Ambiguity,” The Chronicle, April 18) is, to use the currently fashionable academic lingo, “problematic.” In response it should be enough to say that a student’s politics should not be a factor in the realm of academic advancement, but sadly this is not so. On a first read-through it is worth noting that Sarah’s academic achiev…

The Lasting Importance of an “F”

To the Editor:

Kudos to Irina Popescu for “The Educational Power of Discomfort” (The Chronicle, April 17). I had my share of academic success at the University of Virginia in the early 1960s, but the most important moment of my college career was the “F” I received on my very first English paper. I’ve long forgotten the subject, but I have never forgotten the teacher: Conrad Warlick. I was, of course, immediately incensed at him — there wasn’t a punctuation error in the entire thousand…

Title IX Is Not Tenure’s Enemy

To the Editor:

We should not accept any narrative that pits anti-discrimination law against the privileges of tenure (“Tenure Rights and the Rise of Title IX: a Looming Culture Clash,The Chronicle, April 7). The framing of student and faculty interests as opposed, as on some kind of “collision course,” participates in the mystification of academia’s hierarchies. Tenure does not entitle faculty to harass students, staff, or each other; tenure should not and need not complicate the process by wh…

Kudos for Teaching Freshmen How to Use and Evaluate Evidence

To the Editor:

I applaud Emory University for its focus on teaching first-year college students how to use and evaluate evidence through its “Nature of Evidence” curricular approach (“If Skills Are the New Canon, Are Colleges Teaching Them?”, The Chronicle, April 3). As a former secondary-school principal and curriculum coordinator at a highly competitive independent school, I often encountered resistance from faculty who were wed to their “content is everything” approach to teaching and learnin…

Diversifying Philosophy Discipline Is Not a Zero-Sum Game

To the Editor:

Thanks both to the conscientious efforts of many faculty members over the years (not least Robert Bernasconi himself, when he was a faculty member here) and to the vision and support of our university administration, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis has been, and continues to be, a leading force in efforts to increase diversity in professional philosophy. As The Chronicle itself highlighted nearly a decade ago (“Black Women Seek a Role in Philosophy,” Se…

If Guns Are Already in the Classroom, Then So Are Law Breakers

To the Editor:

Erik Gilbert’s anecdotal reasons for dropping one’s fear about concealed weapons in the classroom since “If you really think there are no guns on campus in Texas, or elsewhere, because a law forbids having guns on campus, you are mistaken,” is a shallow and thoughtless view of campus workplace, student safety, and higher-education culture (“Stop Worrying About Guns in the Classroom. They’re Already Here,The Chronicle, March 17). The notion that since students already carry in yo…