We are a big fan of Steven Hayward at PowerLine but we disagree with his take on reactions to Middlebury. Steven evaluates three statements that have been made in reaction to the recent ructions. He thinks Robbie George and Cornel West’s piece is a splendid statement. He thinks that the blog post by some Middlebury faculty addresses the rot directly but he wonders if it will have an impact on tenure decisions. But he thinks that American Political Science Association (APSA) statement is lacking.
Sidebar: We absolutely agree with Steven that faculty actions in the Middlebury riots should be evaluated in making tenure decisions. We are unconvinced with Steven’s musing that students should be banned from individual classes for their protests. It is possible they could be expelled but it should not be a decision by an individual faculty member. End Sidebar.
We had close to the opposite reaction and Steven has not convinced us otherwise. Robbie and Cornel’s piece is nice but it has no weight. Weight is critical with regard to faculty because they deserve due process. It is not worth our time to sign on to Robbie and Cornel. The Middlebury faculty statement tries to address every thing and would end up being a legal opportunity if it had any weight. It doesn’t because it is a blog post rather than an action of the faculty. On the other hand, the APSA statement is clear and to the point while being an action of the APSA. The APSA statement is something you could rely on in a faculty employment decision. We still see the APSA statement as the only one of the three with value.