Accuracy in Academia Seeks Clarification of Review of No University is an Island

Accuracy in Academia is one of several conservative organisations that is disturbed by the alleged free-thinking, free-wheelin’ progressivism of academia. They believe that postsecondary education is too progressive and provides fertile territory for the avante-garde and criticism of all things America. Some of these policing groups are aggressively pursuing an agenda of ideological exclusivity such as Students for Academic Freedom; others are more bipartisan and less driven by ideology such as FIRE.  If only they knew how deeply conservative academia is and how difficult it is for progressives generally to survive in higher education in the United States unless they suppress their ideological weltanschaung and desire for peace, social democracy, and the replacement of unregulated capitalism. For every university that tolerates progressive faculty, ten do not. The evidence is simply overwhelming here although one may dispute the provocative ratio. Mr Kline came across my review of A.A.U.P. President Cary Nelson, No University is an Island and sought clarification of some points. I was happy to oblige.

From: Mal Kline
Sent: Tue 12/28/2010 9:24 AM
To: Kirstein, Peter N.
Subject: book review question

Dear Dr. Kirstein,

I enjoyed your book review…but had two questions:

1.       You write of “a nation that proclaims itself as the leader of the ‘free world’ despite abandoning apartheid only forty years ago.” Since the civil rights laws and court decisions all went through in the 1960s and “apartheid” in South Africa ended with Nelson Mandela, I was puzzled by the reference. Could you enlighten me?

2.       You write that Roger Bowen “suggested seeking external funding from Venezuelan President Hugo  Chávez.” When did he do this? Did he do so publicly? Full disclosure, my own relations with him have been less than amicable—Bowen that is. I never met the other chap.

Thank you so much for entertaining these inquiries.

Mal Kline

Executive Director

Accuracy in Academia

Suite 330

4455 Connecticut Ave., NW

Washington, D. C. 20008


From: Kirstein, Peter N.
Sent: Tue 12/28/2010 9:49 AM
To: Mal Kline
Subject: RE: book review question

Dear Mr Kline:

I appreciate your inquiry and your taking the time to read the review…
1) Following the War Between the States (Civil War) there developed particularly after the demise of the Reconstruction, a Jim Crow system of apartheid in the South. Laws required the segregation of African-Americans into separate schools, communities, trams, parks, theatres, restaurants etc. State laws beginning in the 1870s were given federal sanction under Plessy v Ferguson (1896) and other Supreme Court decisions created legal apartheid in the U.S. This lasted until the 1960s with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The North had its own system of apartheid but it was more petty: meaning it was extra-judicial but in many ways just as virulent. See the Chicago, Springfield race riots for example.

2) On p. 213 of Cary Nelson, No University is an Island, he states that Roger Bowen {then General Secretary of A.A.U.P.} suggested buying a couple of buildings with Hugo Chávez’s support. President Nelson states “the proposal never left the office.” There is no reference to when the idea was bruited about.

Best wishes,

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