Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Definition of Irony

Today the CDT has a story about Penn State eliminating its free legal service for students. I left the following comment on the CDT web site this morning.

Spanier is well known to engage in machinations in order to further his interests in the name of Penn State. Consider his use of the UniSCOPE learning community to end run a Faculty Senate committee which was blocking his efforts to weaken tenure and promotion guidelines. Or his orchestration of the replacement of the Dickinson Law School Board of Governors which had blocked his plan to move the law school from Carlisle to University Park. We can’t forget that he had two tenured professors who were outspoken critics of Penn State policies, Nona Gerard at Altoona and Mohammed Nouri at Wilkes-Barre, fired in advance of the Middles States Accreditation process. In that case, a crony who had carried water for him in the Faculty Senate was on the standing committee which recommended dismissal. Since it is a standing committee, Spanier knew prior to the charges being lodged who would be hearing the case. Then he pulled the plug on funding for the student run radio station about a week after they interviewed Gerard. Last year he pulled the plug on the USG after they became outspoken critics of high tuition. Student affairs channeled private funds to students to help in the process of dismantling the USG.

This brings me to my point. When Spanier or his minions give an innocuous explanation of one of their actions they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. If I were a reporter I’d start to dig into who the attorney was advising. For example, he may have been giving advice to USG members concerning the administration. On the other hand, his dismissal may have been a preemptive move.
This afternoon there is no longer a functioning comment option on the CDT site and the comment, which was the only one that was there the last time I checked, has been deleted. I anxiously await tomorrow's CDT to see if the comment function is back in operation. However, in the spirit of the deleted comment allow me to say, it would appear that there is no free speech when Spanier is the object of criticism.

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