Aaron,I wrote back:
In theory universities are supposed to be places of open debate and an interchange of ideas. When a faculty is all of one opinion, it is usually an indication that the place has become one of mutual reinforcement of the same ideas. This is not particularly unusual in universities where professors, being flawed human beings, have been known to prefer like-minded colleagues around them, which may make their professional experience much more self-satisfying but it does harm to the idea of the interchange of different ideas. It is probably not such a bad idea, in those cases where departments have become intellectually uniform, for a university administration to come along and stir the mix and it is most likely those with different ideas who will first notice the situation.
August 22, 2010
Thanks for your comments. There is much justification to what you write when observed through the eye of a monocle attempting to assess a particular occurrence within a limited range of view. The occurrence may or may not need adjustment, all according to the investigation. But when observing a much broader range of attacks on a wider spectrum of public life, it becomes clear that the motivation has moved over from the investigative to the political. Of course, there is nothing wrong with political motivation in and of itself. By the same token, my own political motivation is a clear abhorrence of a process that leads to a concerted attack on the openness of democratic principles and leads to a variety of legislative proposals that are meant to inhibit alternative political thought and action (in conjunction with legislative proposals of a prejudicial racial nature). This is a process that has increasingly exemplified our public and legislative life of this past year (with previous years being worthy preludes).