Phi Beta Cons

The Noble 300

Naomi Schaefer Riley gave a fine talk at a luncheon earlier this week and fielded questions with knowledge and finesse. I find I still disagree with her anti-tenure stance, however. In answer to those who say that tenure has protected conservative professors as well as leftists, Riley cites Chester Finn, who says it is not worth preserving tenure for the paltry 300 or so conservatives in academia. But the National Association of Scholars has several thousand members, most of whom would not have survived without tenure. Not all are household names, of course, but they at least have formed a cadre of conservatives and classical liberals able to provide some ballast to the politicization of the university and to keep alive the traditional educational values we treasure. Also, we shouldn’t scoff at 300; remember what that number was able to do some thousands of years ago.


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