Phi Beta Cons

Yeah, but Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Small Minds

Should professors have to release their emails to the public under Freedom of Information Act requests? If you ask the deep thinkers at the American Association of University Professors, the answer seems to be — it depends on the politics of the prof!

Cato’s Walter Olson covers some history of this controversy in this Overlawyered post. When conservative legislators in Wisconsin wanted emails from a liberal UW history prof, the AAUP’s response was a strong condemnation, calling it a threat to academic freedom. Ah, but now professor Art Hall of Kansas is under attack by leftists who want to tar and feather him for being too much an advocate of laissez-faire economics. They demand his emails. The AAUP’s stance? Well, the Kansas chapter is actually out in front of the get-Hall crowd and has raised funds to support the FOIA case.

This reminds me of the ACLU, which is very selective in its defense of civil liberties.

Hat tip: Hans Bader

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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