Friday, December 07, 2007

ACTA reacts to Churchill's UC-Davis invite

Anne D. Neal, president of Churchillite bête noire the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, issued a somewhat belated statement on Wart's appearance at the school last week.

At UC Davis, former Secretary of the Treasury and Harvard president Lawrence Summers was deemed "too controversial" after he was invited to speak on campus, but documented academic fraud Ward Churchill -- who was fired by the University of Colorado for academic misconduct -- gave a lecture on November 27.

The student newspaper is now editorializing -- correctly -- that it was right to allow Churchill to speak. But that's not the end of the story. The real question is: Why the double standard?. . .

Real, but rhetorical.

It's clear that UC is confused about one of the core purposes of any good university: ensuring a broad and vigorous exchange of ideas. That's why in September, ACTA called for a comprehensive review of intellectual diversity by the Board of Regents. They have not responded -- and it's worth noting that they themselves disinvited Lawrence Summers back in September.

On November 27, Ward Churchill spoke at UC Davis on the topic "Zionism, Manifest Destiny and Nazi Lebensraumpolitik: Three Variations on a Common Theme." When one student challenged Churchill in the Q&A period, Churchill told him to "shut up" and deemed his contentions "disingenuous bullshit."

The Aggie is right: Controversial speakers should be allowed to come to campus. But as things stand now, former Secretaries of the Treasury seem to be just too controversial for UC. That's not a state of affairs of which the Regents -- who have ultimate fiduciary authority over the university system -- ought to be proud.

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