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April 17, 1955 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-04-17

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Page Four TH MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, April 17, 1955
Kirk's Book Probes Freedom in Colleges
"Academic Freedom" by Russell the real problem: "Which ever knowing anything with certitude." intellectual powers. Academic free- R. KIRK documents his dis-
Kirk, Regnery, 1955. construction of academic freedom This is the group which feel that dom belongs to the category of cussion of the "educational
may have come to pass in recent "everyone ought always to dissent rights called 'natural rights'. It is levellers" with the case of Prof.
RUSSELL KIRK'S new volume years because of timidity about from everything for dissension's sanctioned by custom not statute; Frank Richardson at the Univer-
on academic freedom has made expressing political opinions, this sake" and who would convert aca- it is an idea that has reality which sity of Nevada in 1952. Nevada had
its appearance in the book shops loss is very small in comparison demic freedom to academic license, like other ideas is more important fallen into the hands of Mr. Min-
in time to be the subject of lively with the diminution of true free- To Kirk, the conservative intel- than the ephemeral reality of par- ard W. Stout, a progressive educa-
discussion at academic freedom dom of the intellect through a oetuaK author of The Conservative ticular persons and circumstances. tion man experienced In secondary
week programs in colleges and deadening but voluntary conform- Mind, "the scholar and teacher Itis a freedom inherited from the school administration. Among his
universities across the nation this ity to pragmatic smugness and are Bearers of the Word-that is cesdom and courage of our an- first acts as president of Nevada
spring. Another reviewer recently the popular shibboleths of the the conservators and promulgators thisat he set about to reduce entrance
K r ith regret that Mr. day." of knowledge in all its forms; they this concept of academic freedom requirements so that all graduates
Kirk's title will attract few readers are neither simply hired function- is gravely threatened by a multi- of Nevada high schools, regardless
outside the academic community. KIRK takes a dim view of the aries nor simply knights-errant tude of evils at present. of their academic standing might
I think Mr. Kirk will have accom- educational indoctrinators, the in the lists." Among these evils he points to enroll in the University. Richard-
plished much if his book serves "camp made up of men with radi- "intolerance and the educational son, as chairman of the faculty
only to prickthe consciences of cally opposed notions of what doe- KIRK begins his study with a levellers." The intolerant seek to committee on scholastic standing,
university administrators, profes- trines ought to be made orthodox, preliminary definition of aca- cut out religion and traditional was disturbed about this. He had
soreand students within the who view the scholar and teacher demic freedom as "a security morality from the pursuit of aca- also taken it upon himself to dis-
Academies, as servants, hired for money" to against hazards to the pursuit of 'demic truth with the result that tribute to a number of faculty
This extended essay in defiml- do the job of imposing a doctrine truth by those persons whose lives since there is no longer a sanction members an article entitled "Aim-
iOn goes to the core of the prob- on the students at their feet. He are dedicated to conserving the for truth higher than man, that lessness in Education" which had
lem, something seldom accom- takes an equally dim view of the intellectual heritage of the ages sanction must rest with the "ephe- appeared in a recent issue of Sci-
plished by liberals and the popular doctrinaire liberals such as Robert and to extending the realm of meral People." Thus the needs of entific Monthly and which criti-
press who too often think of aca- M. Hutchins and Prof. Henry knowledge. It is the right, or group the people become the standard cized the decline of the tradi-
demic freedom solely in terms of Steele Commager who "think of of rights, intended to make it pos- of right and the sole objects of tional disciplines in American col-
the dismissal of subversives from the Academy as a place where pro- sible for certain persons to teach learning and the search for truth leges.
faculties and the rights of Com- fessors, like the Sophists, talk per- truthfully and to employ their in the abstract goes out the win- These two acts were sufficient
munists to teach. Kirk points up petually of the impossibility of reason to the full extent of their dow. grounds for administrator Stout
to summon the recalcitrant pro-
fessor before him. Kirk prints part
of the text of the interview which
-EUworker than a conversation be-
tween a University president and
a distinguished member of the
faculty. The upshot of Prof. Rich-
ardson's disagreement with the
president was his dismissal from
the University on grounds that he
SO light-so easy to carry--had been "insubordinate, undo-
operative and 'not in accord with
so simple to use (the welfare of the University of
Nevada."' Friends of Dr. Richard-
son took the case to the Nevada
America's most versatile Supreme Court and he was ulti-
mately ordered reinstated. The
35mm camera! moral of all this as Kirk sees it is
that "Anything which encourages
growth of enrollments must be
good, in the opinion of the educa-
tional levellers; and if a man dis-
sents, let him be anathema."
ON THE question of the aca-
demic man in politics Kirk
has this to say. "In general I think
that State and Academy should
live in separate houses. Only in
grave emergencies is the State jus-
rO5tified in taking a hand in the
Academy's affairs." Kirk upholds
cos $3.69 dash $3.80 the right of congressional and
This handy 35mm camera gives you all these expen- C PETEstate investigating committees to
sive-camera features: f:3.5 color-rrected Cintar C -3 i t-inquire into subversion ' in the
lens -the fastest American lens in its price class; Academy to protect the security
precision shutter with speeds up to 1/200 second; of the nation, but he doubts the
exclusive Color-matic settings; double exposure Takes professional-quality pictures like efficacy of most legislative inves-
preventer; plug-in flash gun. And the price is cameras costing hundreds of dollars more! tigations. He cannot understand
lower than ever. Come in and see it today Has lens-coupled rangefinder for sharp, hw"rfsoswoaedcrn
clear focus. Gear controlled shutter has how "professors who are doctrin-
speeds up to 1/300 second. Also has Cintar aire equalitarians can at the same
f:3.5 lens; built-in synchronization; Color- time deny the right of a democra-
ati settingstic government to make even the
most limited inquiry of them." On
the other hand he does not sub-
scribe to the idea that the public
has the right to know the private
views of a professor.
He also cites the abuse many
ee your slides in true, brilliant COOrinstitutions have made of loyalty
oaths requiring the professor to
New Argus automatic 300-watt projector fix his signature annually as a
This new automatic projector does push-ull-and each slide is on the mark of his continued loyalty,
everything for you. It shows, screen in big, beautiful color. Has ON THE controversial question
changes and stores your slides. You wide-angle four-inch lens; powerful of Communists on the facul-
just insert the 36-slide magazine blower for keeping slides cool. ties Kirk takes a reasonable and
into the automatic changer. Then at once liberal stand. "I believe
$66 O Compee with carrying case that the decision to expel or to
and one magazine retain Communists on the staff of
an educational institution should
be made by the institutional au-
thorities, and not by political
authority; that conceivably some
Communists may be competent

professors who neither conspire
nor indoctrinate; and that the de-
cision as to whether they should
be tolerated or dismissed must be
made by the proper authorities in
each case, without recourse to an
invariable rule."
In all Mr. Kirk has provided us
with a very thought provoking dis-
cussion of academic freedom. He
is a very thorough and a very per-
r csuasive exponent of the conserva-
serves a careful reading by the
academic community from univer.
1116 S. Universit NO 3-6972 sity president to college freshman,
particularly as we begin to observe
Academic Freedom week here on

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