Sunday, August 19, 2007

Probably just cheap

John Andrews recounts two Republican CU regents' strangely post-modern reactions to the proposal to establish a Department of Western Civilization last year:

"Is it Western hemisphere? Is it Western hemisphere north of the equator?"

The inquiry sounded like a game-show contestant trying to buy a clue. Or like your boss going on offense to cover an embarrassment.

Unfortunately the questioner was University of Colorado Regent Paul Schauer. The mysterious "it" was Western civilization, recognizable to most people as 2,500 years of unparalleled achievement from Greece and Rome to the present. But apparently not to Schauer.

When asked to join four other Republican regents in establishing a university department to teach about our civilizational heritage, according to a story in the Colorado Daily last year, "Schauer questioned what 'Western civilization' even means." After his GOP colleague Pat Hayes opined similarly that "this resolution makes no sense," the proposal died for lack of a fifth supporter on the nine-member board. . . .
Andrews asks a sensible question:
Why [didn't Schauer and Hayes] focus their skepticism on asking what ethnic studies "even means," or on venturing that women's and gender studies "make no sense" - to name two of the numerous flimsy subjects that do have departments at CU?
Read the rest.

Update: El Presidente catches ex-ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill in some heavy projection.

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