Wednesday, April 19, 2006

2399 The charges have been dropped

against an Ohio State University (Mansfield) librarian Scott Savage for sexual harassment because some gays didn't like the books he suggested for a recommended Freshman reading list designed to discuss issues. They might be afraid for a gay student to ask for help at the library reference desk. Yikes. I wish I had a dollar for every time librarians had to use material that violated their beliefs or that students had to sit in class and listen to something that stepped on their sensitivities! Story here at Inside Higher Ed.

Even so, these kinds of trivial, bizarre, frivolous charges have to have a chilling affect on academic freedom. Professors already can be shunned by colleagues, cut from grant proposals and denied staff help if they don't toe the political line of their department or college. Tenure doesn't do you much good if you get reassigned to all the freshman courses. The faculty at Mansfield should have put a stop to these whiners before it ever became national news. It's brought shame on that whole campus. And where was American Library Association? I'll have to check the 2 or 3 conservative library blogs to see if anyone responded. Even the account of the law suit in the above cited piece sounds hostile.

One of his suggestions was Freakonomics. But the one that hit the fan was The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom, by David Kupelian. The account at Inside Higher Ed doesn't list the titles other faculty suggested, except for a Jimmy Carter book (probably his current anti-administration pout) and Maria Shriver. It would be interesting to see what Savage was trying to balance or if any of the faculty that supported the charges had even read the book. Although the University has dropped the investigation, Savage wasn't notified, according to this WorldNetDaily article.

The university will respond by offering more workshops in being sensitive. "We will be taking a number of steps to help create a more welcoming atmosphere on the Mansfield campus by offering additional training for faculty and staff. We also will work to reinforce a better understanding of the principles of academic rights and responsibilities, and to ensure the respect for diversity of all kinds." It's quite possible that the current faculty have never heard of the principles of academic rights and responsibilities, so maybe it's for the best.


Susan said...

I'd LOVE to read this book, but can't afford to buy it right now. I certainly wouldn't dare try to get it from a library!!!!!

This is all another clear example of the evil marketed in this world!

Norma said...

Just get it on ILLOAN. I understand the book was actually in the Marion campus library.