Harvey Silverglate in the ‘Boston Phoenix’: ‘UMass Amherst parodies itself’

By March 10, 2005

Our cofounder Harvey Silverglate authored an important piece about the situation at UMass Amherst.

As readers may remember, FIRE defended the students at Amherst last fall. If it were not for public awareness and pressure on UMass Amherst, I believe the students involved would have been expelled for standing near a drawing that mocked race-baiting.

Harvey voices one of the reasons that this kind of controversies frustrate me so much: “In a system without the resources to support a full-time tenured faculty, at a campus that makes increasing use of part-time contract teachers but has become too expensive for most working-class and minority students to attend, the commission nonetheless concluded that another bureaucracy was needed to solve the ‘problem’ posed by an obvious parody.” It is maddening to me that colleges have become prohibitively expensive, but that much of that money goes to creating massive bureaucracies that seem to keep themselves busy, in part, by generating the abuses FIRE fights every day.

Schools: University of Massachusetts – Amherst