A group calling itself The Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University is circulating a statement and a petition decrying "the intrusion of partisan politics into universities' hiring and tenure practices." Inside Higher Education reported on it here and the statement and petition issued by the Committee are here. The Committee seems mainly exercised by critics of Middle East Studies professors. The petition, however, takes the position that matters involving faculty appointments should be the exclusive province of scholars within the relevant disciplines. The petitioners reject the idea that "balance" and intellectual "diversity" ought to be significant considerations in shaping university faculties. The Committee's states that, "It is university faculty, not outside political groups with partisan political agenda, who are best able to judge the quality of their peers' research and teaching."
- October 24, 2007