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February 18, 2005

Mental Ward

From today's Rocky, more interviews with the foxes guarding the henhouse a few years back:

The idea of placing Churchill in communications came from then-Dean of Arts and Sciences Charles Middleton, the former department chairman, John Bowers, recalled Thursday.

Bowers said Middleton didn't mention Churchill's ethnicity.

"It didn't need to be said," recalled Bowers, who has since retired and lives in Oregon.

"I understood it that way, but it wasn't just that I understood it that way from the dean. I mean, it pervaded the whole organization, and still does, I believe.

Does anyone still not get the idea of groupthink? There didn't have to be a conspiracy. All they needed was complete uniformity of opinion on the matter of genetic diversity.

"And I agree with that. I'm not saying that critically," he added.

No doubt. Nothing reinforces the true believer's faith like contrary evidence.

"We were always trying to add diversity to the faculty," Middleton said. "But the qualifications for faculty appointments always govern the parameters within which we can consider somebody."

Granting tenure to new hires is not precluded by university rules, Middleton said.

We followed the rules! Yes, of course you followed the rules. Nobody's saying you didn't sign all the right papers. They're saying that you got to the point where an ideological commitment to ethnic bean-counting led to a complete suspension of judgment.

And there were a few other faculty members who, like Churchill, lacked a doctorate.

Yes, I'm sure there were. I'm sure that there were exceptional intellects who lacked this or that qualification. They're expected to make up for their weaknesses with other strengths. We tolerate all sorts of weaknesses in people we admire because we value other strengths, but you don't pattern yourself after those weaknesses. Churchill is like the football player who's slow and makes up for it by being small. And even now, the coach can't admit he can't remember just what he was thinking when he put him on the squad.

Posted by joshuasharf at February 18, 2005 01:21 PM | TrackBack

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