Category Archive 'university of Virginia'

15 Nov 2016

Faculty, Students Tell UVA President Not to Quote Jefferson

, , , ,


The Cavalier Daily reports that faculty and students at the University of Virginia signed a letter to that university’s president admonishing her for quoting Thomas Jefferson, who founded that university.

Several professors on Grounds collaborated to write a letter to University President Teresa Sullivan against the inclusion of a Thomas Jefferson quote in her post-election email Nov. 9.

In the email, Sullivan encouraged students to unite in the wake of contentious results, arguing that University students have the responsibility of creating the future they want for themselves.

“Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend that University of Virginia students ‘are not of ordinary significance only: they are exactly the persons who are to succeed to the government of our country, and to rule its future enmities, its friendships and fortunes,’” Sullivan said in the email. “I encourage today’s U.Va. students to embrace that responsibility.”

Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not agree with the use of this quote. Their letter to Sullivan argued that in light of Jefferson’s owning of slaves and other racist beliefs, she should refrain from quoting Jefferson in email communications.

“We would like for our administration to understand that although some members of this community may have come to this university because of Thomas Jefferson’s legacy, others of us came here in spite of it,” the letter read. “For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these e-mails undermines the message of unity, equality and civility that you are attempting to convey.”

The letter garnered 469 signatures — from both students and professors — before being sent out via email Nov. 11. Signees included Politics Prof. Nicholas Winter, Psychology Prof. Chad Dodson, Women, Gender and Sexuality Prof. Corinne Field, College Assistant Dean Shilpa Davé, Politics Prof. Lynn Sanders and many more. Asst. Psychology Prof. Noelle Hurd drafted the letter. …

Politics Prof. Lawrie Balfour said she believes everyone who signed the letter, including herself, was grateful that Sullivan responded to anxiety following the election — however, many felt it was the wrong moment to turn to Jefferson, following incidents of identity-related hate speech.

“I’ve been here 15 years,” Balfour said. “Again and again, I have found that at moments when the community needs reassurance and Jefferson appears, it undoes I think the really important work that administrators and others are trying to do.”

Not all signees believe the University should move away from quoting Jefferson in all email correspondence, including Balfour.

“I think we have an opportunity to think about the contradictions that Jefferson embodied,” Balfour said. “The point is not that he is never appropriate, but the point is that the move that says, he owned slaves, but he was a great man, is deeply problematic, and I think it will continue to prevent us from being the kind of inclusive, respectful community that President Sullivan and the rest of us envision.”

Complete story.

I’m a Jeffersonian Libertarian, but this one is too much for me. I would fire every one of those faculty members and expel every insolent and ungrateful student.

27 Sep 2007

Virginia State Climatologist Forced Out for Heresy

, , , , , , , ,

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels

Patrick J. Michaels
, a Research Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, was appointed Virginia State Climatologist in 1980 by Governor John N. Dalton. Michaels subsequently served as president of the American Association of State Climatologists.

Because Professor Michaels is a skeptic concerning Global Warming catastrophe, in 2006 the left commenced serious efforts to discredit him. He was attacked by ABC News for receiving a research grant from a utility.

The same summer, as the Charlottesville Daily Progress reports, Secretary of the Commonwealth Katherine Hanley, an appointee member of the administration of democrat Governor Timothy M. Kaine, proceeded to dissociate the state government from the office of State Climatologist. Responsibility for choosing a State Climatologist was relinquished by the Governor’s Office to the University of Virginia.

This week, Michaels, age 57, announced that he had negotiated a retirement package with the University of Virginia, would become a part-time faculty member on leave of absence, and was resigning as State Climatologist.

The Charlottesville Daily Progress reports that Michaels identified “his resignation (as) a sad result of the fact that his state climatologist funding had become politicized… which… compromised his academic freedom.”

“It’s very simple,” Michaels said in an interview. “I don’t think anybody was able to come to a satisfactory agreement about academic freedom.”

Former Gov. George Allen, a friend of Michaels, had twice intervened on behalf of his office funding in state budget wrangles. In 1994 as governor, Allen restored a cut to the State Climatology Office of more than $100,000 proposed by former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder.

Allen, considered Michaels’ political godfather, acted eight years later as a U.S. senator to rescue Michaels’ office from other proposed cuts when the climatologist said his office faced the loss of half its $113,000 budget in 2003 and 100 percent of it in 2004. …

The politicized funding of his office budget from the state and his private research funding led to a situation that Michaels called “untenable.” He said he now loves his freedom of speech and work at the libertarian-conservative Cato Institute in Washington, where he works while on leave from UVa.

“I feel I can speak more freely,” he said.

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'university of Virginia' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark