Inside Higher Ed Interviews Kirstein on DePaul and Academic Freedom Cases

Inside Higher Ed’s Colleen Flaherty contacted me by phone and numerous email seeking input for her article on DePaul University and recent tenure decisions concerning women. She wrote a piece on gender/race/ideological discrimination at ground zero in the academic freedom wars: Illinois. From Finkelstein to Mehrene Larudee to Namita Goswami to Loretta Capeheart and John Boyle at Northeastern Illinois University, the hits just keep on coming!

Journalist Colleen Flaherty

Inside Higher Ed is web-based and along with the Chronicle of Higher Education, is considered the most influential and widely accessed website in post-secondary education. The Chronicle is big budget, hard copy as well as online with the subscription for the honour of reading it! and construes itself as the New York Times of higher ed. Fair enough, but IHE has a more provocative and mission-oriented swagger. It does not charge access to content. It frequently breaks stories that the Chronicle subsequently covers. It is also more focused and democratic in its reporting. Sometimes the scrappy “paper” v. the established well-heeled one makes more waves and has a more meaningful impact on its audience.

When only one major source of post-secondary news was in town, it was the Chronicle’s world. Competition is always good in journalism and since its debut in 2004, IHE has emerged as an established, essential source of information; it has not forgotten its mission to cover in an objective manner the struggles for academic freedom, justice and the right of academicians to organise collectively. Papers have an identity and IHE has one that serves the wider public by exploring the endless assaults on educational autonomy and critical thinking that is more virulent now than at any time since the McCarthy Era when a thousand educators lost their jobs in the state-sponsored purges of the 1950s.

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