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Hat Tips

EphBlog gots two hat tips yesterday from bloggers much more famous than we. The first from Dan Drezner ’90:

As David Kane has observed, both Schwab and I are graduates of Williams College. When I was intriduced to the ambassador, I mentioned that we shared the same alma mater. And, for just a brief second, the wised-up, cautious face of a politician was replaced by the joyful look of recognition when one Eph recognizes another Eph.

Indeed. Do we have any senior Political Economy majors who can fill us in on whether Williams has made a connection with Schwab? She is an ideal Washington connection for the senior project.

The second from former professor KC Johnson:

EphBlog, which focuses on events at Williams College–another institution that combines academic with athletic excellence, if at a Division III level–has been following the Duke case closely. In a perceptive set of remarks, it recently pointed to the relationship between how the Duke faculty has responded to the issue and the declining intellectual diversity on many college campuses, including Duke, today.

A “groupthink”-dominated faculty marginalizes the voices who dissent from the race/class/gender trinity. And in such an environment, extreme actions–such as demanding that Duke divest from companies doing business with a democratic ally of the United States, or publicly denouncing an institution’s own students based only on information supplied by a rogue district attorney–seem routine.

If Dave Barnard followed the race/class/gender trinity (or at least kept quite about his real views), he would still be baseball coach of Williams today. By the way, if you read all the way down that thread, you get to this comment from Rory:

Further, if one person feels wronged by the public statements of another person who feels his statements are appropriate but might need clarification, and if further the first person is relatively unempowered, then a public or private “talk” is not a legitimate option to that first person. What exactly does that person get? To be willing to have a dialogue in that case is either superhuman or unbelievably foolish.

These were not peers talking, this was a highly successful baseball coach and a couple students, even if they were representatives of vista.

Well, this is correct, but not in the way Rory thinks. These were not “peers” because the aggrieved students had the power. Don’t believe me? Well, “highly successful” Barnard was fired while Lisha Perez ’06 went on to win a lovely fellowship. Remind me again who was “unempowered.”

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#1 Comment By rory On October 5, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

I made the front page!


whether or not barnard was fired for that fiasco is unclear (unless I’m mistaken). But regardless of whose side Williams did or did not take (and at the time, it was notably not taking sides), a 20-year old without a degree, even a Williams student, is still at a power disadvantage when asked to “talk” with an employed middle age man. Though in the end the 20-year old’s side may have one, at the time my point was valid and still is. To argue that what happened at an institutional level roughly one year later has some sort of effect on the individual power dynamic is to believe time can somehow run backwards.

but, thanks for the shout out–that was one of my more coherent points I’ve posted here, I think.

#2 Comment By Loweeel On October 5, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

Rory, you’re technically correct on the causality of that specific instance.

But what is the effect of that on FUTURE scenarios? That’s the point that David’s making — that it shifts the balance of power for similar events in the future; instutitional precedent, if you will.

#3 Comment By frank uible On October 5, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

In my opinion, Barnard’s contract was not renewed because the Williams administration disliked that part of his general personal attitude, which openly conflicted with certain objectives contained in the College’s “diversity” policy, despite his being a highly knowledgeable and effectuve baseball coach.