Never agreed with KC (or many others) on that one, but, onward:
The predictable voices have sprung to Ayers' defense. Cary Nelson conceded that the Trustees have the power to deny emeritus status, but nonetheless suggested that Kennedy should have recused himself. (Nelson didn't say if all the other trustees who voted against Ayers should have recused
themselves as well.). . . .
[T]he best comparison to the Ayers case is that of disgraced ex-Colorado professor Ward Churchill. After Churchill's "little Eichmanns" comment, the university launched an inquiry into his scholarship, and discovered myriad instances of dubious (or much worse) academic behavior. The university pointed to the findings of this inquiry to fire Churchill. I disagreed at the time with the decision to terminate Churchill, since it seemed to me impossible to separate the decision to investigate his academic misconduct from his offensive essays; and also because Colorado, which hired Churchill under a "diversity" hiring initiative that seemed tailored to hire underqualified faculty with extremist views, knew or should have known what it was getting when it hired Churchill.
The same applies to Ayers. The University of Illinois knew or should have known what it was getting when it hired Ayers---and yet the Trustees signed off on his hire, and whatever promotions or pay increases he received while employed at the university. It seems a little late in the game to be ruling his previous actions disqualifying for appointment.Tough. Then KC (who's always been very careful to identify himself as a liberal, though how he compartmentalizes this from the behavior of the "liberal" Duke faculty during the LAX scandal is beyond me) goes into his usual vague (when he's off the LAX case) condemnation of the leftist garbage being taught in schools of education, heavily influenced by Billy:
The real Ayers scandal isn't his (incidental and basically irrelevant) connection to then-state Sen. Barack Obama. Or whether or not Ayers should receive emeritus status at Illinois-Chicago. It's that, as Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik correctly points out, Ayers' "numerous books and articles" have earned him considerable respect among education scholars." If Chairman Kennedy wants to perform a lasting service to his institution, he and his colleagues should do more to ensure that actual merit---rather than politically correct pablum of the type that characterized Ayers' career---serves as a precursor for employment in UIC's Education program. Ayers' career is done. But the harm that Ayers' approach has done to American schoolchildren will continue, without more aggressive oversight by boards of trustees around the country.Fine, fine. Let slide the claim that Ayers' connection to Obama is irrelevant. Weirder, note how Johnson calls Ayers' theories and teaching to ed students "pablum," while not spelling out what they are: an attempt to indoctrinate future teachers in brainwashing children into a belief in the nugatory concept of "social justice," and (don't believe I'm overstating it) the need for revolution. Now, that he couches it in pablum ("Vote Love!") I won't dispute.
Ayers hasn't changed his aims from his terrorist days; just his methods.