Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally, academics see fit to deny something to Bill Ayers

Every now and then, our monolithic, woefully over-priced universities do something right. A case in point is the news that University of Illinois trustees have denied emeritus status to a tenured faculty member: Bill Ayers.

Gee, with everything in his record, how did Ayers finally outrage university liberals? Well, it wasn't his past as a fugitive fleeing the law, when he assumed aliases taken from names of dead babies in cemeteries in towns where he hid. It wasn't even his more recent statements about harboring "no regrets" over bombing the Pentagon or police stations; after all, many aging tenured radicals, like Ayers in the 1960s, once referred to the military and police as "fascists" and "pigs." No, what did it was Ayers' dedication of his 1974 book, Prairie Fire, to no less than Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.

The catalyst, of course, had to be something offensive to liberals, but we'll take it.

It turns out that one of the university's trustees is Christopher Kennedy, son of RFK. Kennedy implored the university community to "understand my motives and reasoning," noting, "How could I do anything else?" Indeed.

Kennedy shouldn't expect much level-headedness in return. This is, after all, the university community. One Ayers colleague told the Chicago Tribune she was "shocked" by the decision. And, naturally, the dean at the School of Education that hosted Ayers since 1987 protested that Ayers has been a "very good colleague" whose "good far outweighs any negative press."

Of course, the decision by the trustees was a no-brainer, but in our horribly un-diverse universities -- ideologically dominated by the left -- the real shock is that a just, sensible decision has been made.

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