Attack on academic freedom

Assemblyman Dov Hikind from Brooklyn has apparently (according to the Clarion, February 2011, Newspaper of the Professional Staff Congress/City University of New York) “demanded” that the department of Political Science at Brooklyn College prevent someone from teaching a course on Middle Eastern politics because the proposed instructor was doing research on Palestinian suicide bombers. A politician with no academic credentials demanding that a college follow his way of doing things rather than following the will of the Political Science Department is pretty incredible. Even more incredible is that Brooklyn College’s Provost rescinded the instructor’s appointment because of this “demand” letter. Fortunately, the Professional Staff Congress, the Brooklyn College faculty, the Department of Political Science, and people throughout the academic community came to the defense of academic freedom and the instructor and course were reinstated.
Now two questions remain: First, why do the people of Brooklyn continue to elect Hikind who seems to think that colleges exist to further his personal political agenda? They don’t; they exist to further exploration on all issues—not just the issues you want them to and the issues that further your own closed-minded political agenda. Second, why does Brooklyn College have a provost who cares so little for academic freedom? They shouldn’t.

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