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  • Seriously Pathetic

    Posted by David Foster on June 18th, 2008 (All posts by )

    In a letter to [University of Chicago] President Robert Zimmer, 101 professors—about 8 percent of the university’s full-time faculty—said they feared that having a center named after [Milton Friedman,] the conservative, free-market economist could “reinforce among the public a perception that the university’s faculty lacks intellectual and ideological diversity.”

    via University Diaries

     

    11 Responses to “Seriously Pathetic”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      The University leadership will, probably, ignore this. They don’t want to piss off the many, many alumni who respect Friedman — many of whom are the alumni who went out into the world and made money, and are therefore fundraising prospects.

      As Friedman taught us, look at the incentives.

    2. Brian Says:

      Wow. As an outsider I’d always associated the U of Chicago with Friedman and because of that looked on the school favorably. I’m surprised to hear that that association is apparently an embarrassment to some of the faculty.

      A regular reading of this blog reveals that there are many who celebrate Friedman and now we see that the school has not been immune to the creeping plague of liberalism in academia. Also, while liberals tend to make a lot of noise with their whining and clamoring, conservatives are more likely to quietly go about their business. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to not see a response to this other than, hopefully, the center continuing as planned.

      Out of curiosity, where would some of you insiders put the school as a whole on the liberal / conservative spectrum? Also, would it be safe to say that Friedman’s work purchased, at least in part, a lot of these pinheads’ right and opportunity to snivel like this?

    3. Jonathan Says:

      I know little, having been only a very undistinguished undergraduate a long time ago. What I remember is that Friedman retired and went to Hoover around 1976, and that the University continued to milk his reputation for many years thereafter. (And are still doing it, which doesn’t bother me.) I also remember that, outside of the econ department and business school and part of the law school, a lot of faculty and students were leftists who disdained Friedman and the whole “Chicago School” and “law and economics” worldview. So I’m not surprised that someone can rustle up 100 faculty to sign a boneheaded statement reflecting mostly their own intellectual parochialism. Indeed I am a bit heartened that they could only find 100 of them. My impression is that Chicago has tended to resist the political enthusiasms of the day better than have most other major universities.

    4. Lexington Green Says:

      I was an extremely undistinguished undergraduate: GPA 2.9. But I have stayed involved.

      U of C in most departments is not significantly different from any major university — knee jerk Leftist.

      Econ, GSB and Law School less so than most places, probably, as Jonathan notes.

      I am surprised that they only got 100 faculty to do this. Maybe the place is more sensible than my impression of it.

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I have given up on the institution. Abolition of the Common Core, mistreating my daughter, the mess in the poli-sci department. It is gone, and it isn’t coming back.

    6. zenpundit Says:

      I too am heartened that it was only 8 % – there are other first tier universities in this country where large mobs have formed and chanted ” Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Culture has got to go!”. I’m sure at some of these campuses the anti-Friedman ( and anti-Freedom) cohort would be closer to 92 %.

      Whatever relative decline Chicago may have suffered, speaking as an outsider, it still justifies it’s reputation for intellectual seriousness

    7. morgan Says:

      Doesn’t, or didn’t, the Weatherman Wm Ayres and his oboxious wife, both friends of Obama, teach at Chicago? Left loonies are all over academia.

    8. Lexington Green Says:

      Ha, that is funny. No. Ayers is at UIC, University of Illinois at Chicago. U of C is always irritated and embarrassed when people get it confused with UIC, also known as “Circle” since it used to be called “Circle Campus” since it is near, get this, a traffic circle. It has amongst the ugliest, brutalist buildings in the universe. Its architect died recently, and will no doubt now get the justice he deserves for the atrocity he inflicted. University of Chicago, my dear alma mater, despite the many blemishes on its escutcheon, has not, to my knowledge hired Mr. Ayers.

    9. zenpundit Says:

      Bernadine Dohrn managed to get a sinecure at Northwestern, I believe at the law school. Rather remarkable considering that she is a felon, having served time for aggravated battery and jumping bail; most law schools prefer their professors not have criminal records or previous membership in a terrorist group but hey, this is Chicago.

    10. morgan Says:

      Lex, thanks for setting me straight and defending your alma mater. Mark, interesting about Dohrn. Maybe the combination of Chicago, Ayres and Dohrn was the right recipe for Obama to chew on, if you’ll pardon the pun.

    11. Wiseye Says:

      Milton Friedman is bigger than the U of Chicago.