Kudos to Berry's principled statement on UK priorities
I would like to commend Wendell Berry's decision to withdraw his papers from the University of Kentucky collection.
Berry has a long history of principled resistance to the expansion of corporate dominance over public institutions, as well as to the destructiveness of mountaintop removal mining.
He has concluded that UK, like other public universities in Kentucky, has become overly dependent upon and deferential to an industry that has willfully attacked the environmental and economic well-being of the commonwealth.
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Many may challenge his analysis (I do not), but we all should support his act of conscience.
Professor of historyMorehead State UniversityMorehead
I strongly support Wendell Berry's decision to withdraw his papers from the University of Kentucky archives. It is the act of a man who stands by his principles.
As a UK graduate student, I share his shame in this institution's apparent willingness to sell out to the influence of Big Coal. When the name of the Wildcat Coal Lodge was first announced, a group of students and faculty protested at the trustees meeting, but we were ignored.
Thank you, Berry, for once again raising awareness of the pervasive corruption which is "business as usual" for the coal industry in Kentucky.
The University of Kentucky's agreement to name a dormitory Wildcat Coal Lodge is a decision based on convenience and opportunism. Wendell Berry's response, to withdraw his papers from the university archives, is a decision based on principle.
We used to believe our colleges and universities should promote at least a few principles, like honesty and integrity — especially when being honest and ethical requires great courage.
Heck, we used to admire people who stood their ground because we thought they were intelligent and morally wise, the very qualities we used to hope our children would acquire through education.
Praise be to Wendell Berry for his courage in standing up to the University of Kentucky. Berry's refusal to "remain friends" when the school is so closely allied with King Coal speaks volumes of his love for this state and her precious resources: clean air, water and soil.
Perhaps the students and researchers forced to look elsewhere for his letters and manuscripts will wonder, "why?"
And if this opens their eyes to the university's true direction and leads them to explore the myth of "clean coal," then Wendell Berry clearly made a wise decision.