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Today both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed contain coverage of FIRE’s outrageous case at SUNY Fredonia, where Professor Stephen Kershnar was denied promotion because he publicly criticized the university. The most significant development in these articles appears to be that university president Dennis Hefner now considers his proposal that all of Kershnar’s writings be subjected to prior review to be “a mistake” or an “aberration.”
The Chronicle, in fact, points out that “[b]oth Mr. Kershnar and Mr. Hefner said they now regretted suggesting such a committee.” But there is a critical difference here: Kershnar made his suggestion after being denied promotion for an illegitimate reason, while Hefner made his after denying Kershnar’s promotion for an illegitimate reason. It’s not hard to see who holds the moral culpability here.

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