OSU Lantern Reports Prof’s Classroom Political Campaigning

Glenn Ricketts

Last week, NAS President Peter Wood, in this article for the CHE, described some pretty straightforward classroom political huckstering on behalf of the Obama campaign by an Ohio State University English professor.  Beyond simply encouraging students to vote, he urged colleagues on a long listserve to consider bringing the president’s local political boosters into classrooms – presumably during time normally used for instruction. 

On Thursday, on advice of OSU’s legal counsel, VP and University provost Joseph Alutto issued a memo indicating that such obvious partisan activity in a public institution was out of bounds, and emphasized the obligation by all employees to ensure that the university serve as a “base of impartial discourse.”  We reported the details here on Friday.

On the same day, the Friday edition of the OSU Lantern, the regular student newspaper, also carried a story about the initial email sent by English professor Brian McHale and the administration’s response.  The Lantern’s reporter references, but doesn’t link to the CHE article, or mention NAS. The students quoted in the piece seem to blow the whole thing off: what's the big deal, anyway?

It’s unlikely, to say the least, that invitations similar to McHale’s would be tendered – either at OSU or elsewhere - to GOP political operatives, as certainly they shouldn’t be.  But just speculate for a moment about the probable reaction of those on the prof’s  listserve, if they had received a similar call to invite Mitt Romney’s people into their classrooms. 

Probably a bit different than this time, eh?

 

 

 

  • Share

Most Commented

July 16, 2020

1.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....

June 15, 2020

2.

See Clearly, Decide Wisely, Act Justly

An Open Letter to the Converse College Community in response to its administrative decisions relating to diversity and inclusion on campus. ...

July 28, 2020

3.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

July 28, 2020

2.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

July 16, 2020

3.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....