Friday, September 24, 2010

Something to thank A Kennedy for...no Emeritus for Bill Ayers

Christopher Kennedy, a son of Robert Kennedy, is chairman of the board of Trustees at the University of Illinois at Urbana.  He knows his history, he knows his father was assasinated.  Here is what he said:
"I am guided by my conscience and one which has been formed by a series of experiences, many of which have been shared with the people of our country and mark each of us in a profound way," Kennedy said.

He said he could not confer the title "to a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father."

Kennedy was referring to a 1974 book co-authored by Ayers, "Prairie Fire," which was dedicated to a long list of people including Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan and "all political prisoners in the U.S."

Ayers became a controversial figure in Barack Obama's presidential campaign because they worked on a school-reform initiative together, leading opponents to say Obama was linked to a "terrorist." UIC was forced to release more than 1,000 files detailing the activities of that group. The university also faced questions in 2001 after Ayers wrote in his memoir about helping with the non-fatal bombings of government buildings.

According to the UIC faculty handbook, the granting of emeritus status is "based on merit" and is "an extraordinary title that is given for extraordinary service."

Kennedy said he hoped faculty, staff and Illinois residents "understand my motives and my reasoning" and concluded: "How could I do anything else?"
Other members of the board also voted against it. The article in the Chicago Tribune went on to say:
Ayers could not be reached for comment, and UIC School of Education Dean Vicki Chou did not return a call from the Tribune. She told the Tribune last month that Ayers has "been really a very good colleague here" and "the good far outweighs any negative press."
Thank you University of Illinois.Thank you Christopher Kennedy.
Read the whole article here.

2 comments:

  1. Just saw this a moment ago, and had posted on FB, now I've linked to your cover. Thanks. This is small, but telling. And I feel much better about academics right now...

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  2. Also, the dean's statement about "negative press" ??? No, horrible actions. The press has nothing to do with it.

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