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“I don’t think these are radical ideas, to act justly, to think deeply, to think critically," Kuilema said. "In fact in a post-truth moment, I think that’s what we need more of.”
Ryan Grimes / Michigan Radio

 


To some, the idea of a “watchlist” raises uncomfortable thoughts and worries about infringement on people’s constitutional rights.

There’s a basis in our history for those concerns: the “Red Scare” from Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. The post-9/11 Terrorist Watchlist, with its various secondary lists, such as the no-fly list.

As lawsuits challenge the constitutionality of these watchlists, courts are ruling that these lists are treading on due process rights spelled out in the Constitution.

And now there’s a new website called Professor Watchlist. Its self-described mission is to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

Professor Watchlist is a project of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth group founded by Charlie Kirk in 2012.

Joseph Kuilema is a Calvin College professor who teaches social work. His name was added to the Professor Watchlist a few weeks ago because of an op-ed he wrote addressing institutional racism and white privilege.

One of this week’s more sensational stories involved a Michigan State University professor who was removed from teaching after delivering an inflammatory rant to a large lecture classroom, remarks somebody videotaped.

When the video surfaced, Republicans went ballistic. Many demanded that William Penn, a tenured professor of creative writing, be fired. Michigan State officials didn’t do that, and probably couldn’t. Originally, the whole point of tenure was to prevent someone from being fired for unpopular opinions.

However, State did yank Penn out of the classroom. He will continue to be paid, and presumably expected to continue his research and committee work, but someone else will teach his courses. The question is, how should we feel about this?

New America Foundation / Flickr

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency on behalf of a University of Michigan Professor. Juan Cole is a critic of the Bush administration and Iraq War. A former CIA official claims the Bush administration asked him to dig up some dirt on Cole in 2005 and 2006 to discredit his analysis of the government.

Notebook and pencil laid across the pages of an open book
Jane M Sawyer / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University has found one of its education professors guilty of plagiarism in a 2010 report about school consolidation.

The Booth newspaper chain commissioned MSU professor Sharif Shakrani to do a study about school consolidation. Shakrani’s study found Michigan could save more than $600 million by consolidating school districts.