Saturday, October 3, 2009
A brief update for those who've offered moral and material support for our little philosophy department: guardedly good news, as our over-seers now acknowledge that mistakes were made in the review/reform process that has stirred so much angst on our campus since last Spring. Faculty input regarding any contemplated reorganization, restructuring, departmental merger or degree program elimination is now to be formally solicited. The executioner's axe is suspended for now. This is surely a positive development, though of course the Fat Lady may still be standing in the wings. But we've released a collective sigh of pent-up trepidation. We're relieved. But don't look entirely away.
One new disquieting note that I hope is just a misunderstanding: apparently the word has gone forth, or so it has been perceived by affected parties, that our university department of news and public affairs should dampen publicity of programs and events deemed controversial by some university benefactors. Women's and Islamic studies were cited as examples. If true, this is every bit as much a violation of academic freedom as the muzzling of teachers in the classroom. That won't do.