Professor Aaron W. Hughey’s Dec. 23 thoughts on academia suggest that Western Kentucky University must be a dark place indeed. Its faculty is clearly crazed with fanaticism; I’d encourage administrators to run for their lives and students to take to the hills.
I’ve been at Eastern Kentucky University for probably as long as he’s been at WKU, and I don’t recognize much in his picture of campus culture.
While “self-righteous indignation” might rear its unpretty head ever so often (usually, alas, by me), I have never met a person here whom I would place among “the most intolerant human beings in the world.”
My co-workers are fair-minded, generous of their time and talents, and committed to their students.
I suspect Hughey’s caricature masks a point never stated outright: that professors, who tend to care deeply about shared governance and the centrality of the liberal arts, ought to allow politicized agents to run universities as top-down, STEM-focused businesses.
But since Hughey is coy about this argument, the only thing he really accomplishes is to reinforce the Fox News stereotype of faculty as elitist pinheads, somewhat silly, always dangerous.
Might I suggest coffee with colleagues sometime? He may end up kind of liking them.