[EAS]Defending Civilization

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Nov 21 23:25:14 EST 2001

Subject:   Defending Civilization

(from The Scout Report -- November 23, 2001)

"Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and
What Can Be Done About It" [.pdf]

Though short, this report from The American Council of Trustees and
Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit co-founded by Lynne Cheney and Senator
Joseph I. Lieberman, has been getting quite a bit of media attention.
The report is a scathing condemnation of universities for being "the
weak link in America's response to the [September 11th] attack," a
label earned in part because faculty "invoked tolerance and diversity
as antidotes to evil" and did not discuss the "difference between good
and evil." The report charges academia with disseminating the message
to "blame America first." ACTA states, "This is not an argument for
limiting free speech on college campuses. Indeed, the robust exchange
of ideas is essential to a free society. But it is equally important
-- and never more so than in these unsettling times -- to insist that
colleges and universities transmit our history and heritage to the
next generation." The report concludes with an appendix of named and
numbered professors and organizations who are part of the "weak link."
Anyone interested in debates over the function of universities or the
composition of curricula will want to read this.

Copyright Internet Scout Project, 1994-2000. http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/

This report, in which the vice president's wife issues a list of
academic enemies of civilization, has caused quite a stir. After the
initial public reaction, ACTA pulled it from its Web site
<http://www.goacta.org/>, then put back a new version with the names
of the academic miscreants removed, and now appears again to have
pulled the report altogether. So the URL above won't work at this
An good article about the original report can be found at
<http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=12355>. If I find
a copy of the original report, I'll let you know.  --PJK

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