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Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Tenure and Truth



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Duke University economist Peter Arcidiacono thanks God for tenure. This is in his response to Duke president Richard Brodhead’s shameful speech addressing Arcidiacono’s study on the negative results of affirmative action for blacks in STEM education. All those who have opposed tenure on principle or downplayed its importance, including many who were or are safely tenured themselves, should realize how much any opposition to left-wing propaganda in academia depends on it. 

Brodhead’s speech is quite astonishing, as it reveals how little he is concerned with the truth of the matter. He does not even attempt to deal with Arcidiacono’s study on substantive grounds, addressing it only because it questions the value of affirmative action and in his view can seem insulting to minorities. The study explains how blacks admitted under affirmative action often drop out of STEM courses, and STEM majors, for which they are not really prepared.

Brodhead is practically announcing that researchers cannot work honestly, but must produce only acceptable opinions on racial issues and mindlessly cheer at whatever liberals think is progress toward equality. Thank God for tenure, indeed.



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