Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Free Speech Canto XXXVII

by Michael Ceraolo

And the robber barons founded colleges,
which were endowed by their Creators
to hire a variety of professors,
then some of those professors were fired
in deference to the supposed wishes,
or the actual wishes,
                               of those founders,
or members of the founder's family
A few examples:

"If the railroads would expect their men
to be law-abiding,
they must set the example
Let their open violation
of the interstate commerce law
and the relations to corrupt
legislatures and assessors
testify as to their past in this regard"
was part of a speech on the Pullman strike
given by Edward W. Bemis,
                                          a professor
at Rockefeller's University of Chicago
this speech prompted William Rainey Harper,
the president of the university,
                                            to say:
"It is hardly safe for me to venture
into any of the Chicago clubs
I am pounced upon from all sides
I propose that during the remainder
of your connection with the University
you exercise very great care
in public utterance about
questions that are agitating
the minds of the people",
despite the dubious claim
that this wasn't a threat,
Bemis was fired at the end of the school year

"I cannot with self-respect decline to speak
on topics to which I have given
years of investigation
It is my duty as an economist,
to impart,
               on occasion,
                                   to sober people,
and in a scientific spirit,
                                   my conclusions
on subjects with which I am expert"
was said by Edward A, Ross,
a professor at Stanford,
though Leland Stanford was dead,
his wife remained a prime mover
in university affairs,
"There is a very deep and bitter feeling
of indignation throughout the community . . .
to partisanism and even to dangerous socialism"
"Professor Ross cannot be trusted,
and he should go",
                            and he did

All professors
                      "should make a contribution
to our students and the University
but also to the society at large"
said Scott Nearing,
                             an instructor
in sociology at the Wharton School of Finance
at the University of Pennsylvania,
                                                  the school
from which Nearing had earned his
undergraduate and graduate degrees,
he backed his words with actions

When his appointment was up for renewal
the Dean of the Wharton School,
the chair of his department,
a large majority of the faculty
recommended re-appointment

the trustees disagreed,
that Nearing "aroused class prejudice"
                                                         that he
"advocated the ruthless re-distribution of property"
that his views were
at variance with those of the founder
[Mr. Wharton],
                              in defiance of
the conservative opinions of men of affairs"

those 'men of affairs' did not re-appoint him

No comments:

Post a Comment