Monday, January 25, 2010

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

The documents in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case are on the SCOTUS wiki.

See also Lawrence Tribe's reading on the SCOTUS blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#1 Party School

Recently Ira Glass's NPR show "This American Life" broadcast an episode on the "#1 Party School," Penn State University. The show was originally broadcast on 18 December 2009.

It is an interesting radio documentary, and well worth listening to, though you will wince if you are a Penn State faculty member or student.

The local NPR station, WPSU, has also posted some discussion of the show, including a recent column in the student paper, The Daily Collegian.

Cary Nelson on Shared Governance

An interesting letter on shared governance from Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors.

We Have a Problem

Of course colleges and universities have more than one problem. But at the core of the financial and decision-making disasters of the past year has been a failure to honor shared governance principles on campus after campus. Unfortunately, shared governance has functioned for decades at many schools without any ongoing effort either to define it or to educate the campus community about its importance. Poorly understood, this fundamental principle has all along been vulnerable to circumvention, neglect, or flat violation. In “The Three-Legged Stool: Academic Freedom, Shared Governance, and Tenure.” the opening chapter of my new book, No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom, I have made an effort to define shared governance in the context of the current financial, legal, and cultural threats to its continued existence. I draw throughout on the work of AAUP colleagues who have thought long and hard about this issue. These include Greg Sholtz, head of our Department of Academic Freedom, Shared Governance, and Tenure, and Larry Gerber, a member of our executive committee. My publisher, New York University Press, has agreed to let me circulate a link to my shared governance chapter as a way of initiating a national conversation about this increasingly critical issue. In what is, overall, a very cordial review of my book, Stanley Fish argues that academic freedom and shared governance are independent variables. In line with AAUP principles, I argue exactly the opposite. Here is a link to a PDF of the chapter:

Cary Nelson
AAUP President

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday

Jack Delano, "Negro Driver Asleep under a Truck," 1940. From the FSA photography collection at the Library of Congress. Notes on the photograph indicate that it was taken in Washington, D.C., in June 1940, and provide this description: "Negro driver asleep under a truck. There are no sleeping accomodations for Negroes at this service station. On U.S. 1."