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The Pillory of McPartland

Professor McPartland’s duties, as a philosophy, a teacher, and a mentor to students, have been jeopardized by the Hollander Hall backlash:

  • The man is deeply dedicated to the principle of free speech and equality. Opportunists on both sides of the political aisle will now attempt to connect his principles and actions either to a racist agenda or as a sacrifice done in support of the persecuted right. These are distortions of his real beliefs. Nevertheless, they will out into the campus and beyond, allowing others to hijack his beliefs.
  • Minority students who wish to work with him will hesitate to ever approach McPartland, now. He’ll be known as the ‘racist’ professor, and such a label is as damning as it is indelible. Yes, he is tenured, but this won’t prevent the jury of popular opinion from denigrating his reputation. If people won’t approach him, how can he properly teach?

The worst part of all this? This could happen to any other professor who happens to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong professional capacity. As a student who cares for that unique bond between professors and students formed by an education in Williams, I worry for the future where all are subject to the pillory.


Congratulations to the Seven New Williams Full Professors

Williams has promoted seven professors to the rank of full professor: Daniel P. Aalberts, physics; Ronadh Cox, geosciences; William C. Dudley ’89, philosophy; Antonia E. Foias, anthropology; Kathryn R. Kent ’88, English; Robert M. Savage, biology; and Kenneth K. Savitsky, psychology.

Details on specialities, publications, and degrees are here.


Grad School as the Detroit of Education

At least according to the rec of Prof. Mark Taylor, formerly professor of “humanities” at Williams and now the head of the Columbia religion department.

His Op-Ed in the New York Times today is a classic for him.  It was posted in Speak Up a little while ago, but I also got it via email from a fellow former religion major and was coming here to post it.

There are few academics out there able to so seamlessly link the current budget crisis in higher education, the ethics of higher ed generally, accessible writing, and some quotes from Kant:

Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades, and the seeds of this crisis go as far back as the formation of modern universities. Kant, in his 1798 work “The Conflict of the Faculties,” wrote that universities should “handle the entire content of learning by mass production, so to speak, by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee.”

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