Re: [asa] Expelled Explained (firing those you don't agree with)

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Apr 14 2008 - 14:51:38 EDT

Bernie, the DI isn't a publicly funded university. I can't stress enough
how important the principle of academic freedom is in higher education and
how central it is to the role of the university in society. There is no
analog to it in private enterprise, churches, think tanks, government, or
anywhere else.

I understand your comments about working in the corporate world and
teaching. I was a corporate litigator most of my career. Believe me, I
know about the law of the jungle. My path to working in higher education
has been a curving one to say the least, and financially the opportunity
cost has been enormous.

I also understand "branding" in higher education. This is one of the
perennial tensions between faculty and administration. It's one reason
faculty need to zealously guard academic freedom.

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 2:33 PM, Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
wrote:

> I think whether you realize it or not, every organization has a "brand"
> and "brand recognition" they are worried about. They spend a lot of money
> and energy on that. The Discovery Institute has their agenda and brand, and
> so does every institute of higher learning. They all want to be the best,
> and if so, carefully nurture their image. If, as a group, they consider ID
> to be "unscientific," then it would be "major egg on the face" to employ
> such a person. Everyone is for "academic freedom" … even the Discovery
> Institute, but does that mean the Discovery Institute should hire and
> finance those who want to expand and develop theories of evolution? *Does
> the Discovery Institute support "academic freedom" within their
> organization?* Of course they do, as long as the academics are in-line
> with their agenda.
>
>
>
> The Discovery Institute is being hypocritical if they demand that
> universities employ those who believe in ID, yet the Discovery Institute
> refuses to finance and advance researchers interested in evolutionary
> science. What kind of freedom is the Discovery Institute advocating…
> one-way freedom? *Isn't what's good for the goose also good for the
> gander?*
>
>
>
> David said: "Academic freedom is a primary reason some of us choose to
> teach instead of making the big bucks at Intel."
>
> I don't know about that. Making big bucks at Intel is good for those who
> are greedy and like money, I think (Intel used to be a place to get rich
> because of stock options, but the stock has been dead for the last 8 years
> or so… many are disappointed that). In my heart- I'd rather teach. Not for
> academic freedom, but because it is more my personality… teaching rather
> than doing. I'm more of a "people person" in which teaching fits well; it
> goes against my grain to be working individually and isolated as I mostly
> do. I'm working on my "liberation plan" from Intel to do more teaching,
> etc. As I get older, I love learning so much more, and searching for
> truth. If I had a more privileged start in life with the right parents, I
> could have easily went the education route and had been a professor… I'm
> taking the long and curvy road in that direction instead.
>
> I've worked at Intel for 23 years, but I'm not average as an employee. The
> average life-span is 5 years. Intel is brutal. They put "survival of the
> fittest" to the test. That's why they are so aggressive and powerful. Even
> the executives work like slaves. Of course for them, it is worth it because
> of the power, prestige, and money they get. Actually, thinking about it,
> one reason why I've been able to stay around so long, I think, is because I
> found a good niche—just like animals in evolution. I've had a few close
> calls where I almost left, too.
>
> …Bernie
> ------------------------------
>
> *From:* David Opderbeck [mailto:dopderbeck@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Monday, April 14, 2008 11:01 AM
> *To:* Dehler, Bernie
> *Cc:* asa@calvin.edu
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Expelled Explained (firing those you don't agree
> with)
>
>
>
> Bernie -- the problem here is that academic freedom is central to the
> mission of any public university and of most private universities. Academic
> freedom is a primary reason some of us choose to teach instead of making the
> big bucks at Intel.
>
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 12:54 PM, Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
> wrote:
>
> Gordon- that is exactly it! If a college fires someone for ID mentality,
> it is because ID mentality goes against the institution's view and stand on
> science and what they want to be known for, their "brand." If a university
> wants to be known as on the fore-front of evolutionary science, then an
> ID'er would kill their reputation... they want and need like-minded people
> to fulfill their *mission*.
>
>
>
> I work for Intel and am working on book ideas, but I won't be mentioning
> my employer. They don't share my view. I can't use Intel as a platform,
> but then again, I have total freedom to say whatever I want. If a Prof.
> writes a book, what they say reflects on their institution (if they mention
> where they teach), as they'd have no platform (no job) if it wasn't for
> their institution, and it looks implicitly like their institution supports
> them. Same with a preacher, reflecting his views upon the entire church.
> The key is to work for an outfit that shares your view if that outfit will
> be known as employing you.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of gordon brown
> Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 8:26 AM
> To: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: RE: [asa] Expelled Explained (firing those you don't agree with)
>
>
>
> On Mon, 14 Apr 2008, Dehler, Bernie wrote:
>
>
>
> > Hi Don- let me ask you a similar question. What would happen if the
>
> > Discovery Institute hired a researcher, and then the researcher became
>
> > an evolutionist. Would this researcher still be able to hold a job at
>
> > the Discovery Institute? Of course not. Suppose a preacher at a church
>
> > became an atheist- could they hold their job as preacher? Of course not.
>
> > There was also talk lately of a Prof. being booted from his seminary
>
> > because of evolutionary belief (I don't have the details- picked it up
>
> > in passing). Why not give colleges the same respect to hire people that
>
> > they agree with? The college wants to move in a certain direction, and
>
> > they want to hire those who can advance their cause.
>
>
>
> Bernie,
>
>
>
> I don't think these are valid analogies unless we are making comparisons
>
> with someone whose teaching conflicts with the mission of his institution.
>
>
>
> Gordon Brown (ASA member)
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>
>
>
>
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Apr 14 14:54:00 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Apr 14 2008 - 14:54:00 EDT