…which, as AAUP leader Roger Bowen notes, is the federal law regulating publicly held companies in the aftermath of the Enron scandal, and which has motivated many campuses to address ways to enhance transparency and accountability in their financial operations (click on “From the General Secretary”).
About this Bowen (in the manner of Candide) posits: “I suspect that most presidents and financial vice presidents would prefer to deal with a faculty budget committee rather than corporate leaders acting in the capacity of trustees.”
Exactement. Faculty and administrators do not want the corporate-accountability movement sinking its hooks into their mutually enriching pas de deux.
Then Bowen asks: “What can the faculty do to prevent Sarbanes-Oxley from serving as a mechanism for trustee assumption of all budgetary oversight?” He responds, “[T]he faculty should work with administrators against attempts by governing boards to undermine the rights of administrations and faculties to co-govern…[It can also] appeal to the libertarian streak in American culture, which says the government that governs least governs best, especially in intellectual realm, where the quality of our ideas legitimizes our pursuit of truth, unmediated by ideology, positive law, or cultural bias [italics mine].”
What? “The rights of administrations and faculties’ rights to co-govern”–without (implicitly understood) the nuisance of oversight by governing boards watching over public moneys?
And how about this tactical and hypocritical invoking of our limited-government “streak”–farthest from the minds of the higher education status quo? And this blather about the academy’s non-ideological, non-biased “pursuit of truth”?
This–from the nation’s preeminent faculty organization–recalls the dezinformatsia perfected by the erstwhile Soviet elites, whose focus was the perpetuation of their own existence at society’s expense without consideration of the public good.