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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Inside Higher Ed has a piece on administrative anxiety over campus activism, using as its hook a recent email sent to professors and staff at the University of Illinois.

The university system’s ethics office sent a notice to all employees, including faculty members, telling them that they could not wear political buttons on campus or feature bumper stickers on cars parked in campus lots unless the messages on those buttons and stickers were strictly nonpartisan. In addition, professors were told that they could not attend political rallies on campuses if those rallies express support for a candidate or political party.
The email we received from Duke was not nearly so strident or unreasonable—aside from a strange (and I think, legally incorrect) insistence that we can't use email accounts for political advocacy, it was just an elaboration of the laws for non-profit organizations. The Illinois policy, in contrast, is out-and-out censorship, likely unenforceable and possibly even illegal.

Meanwhile, Gary W. Lewandowski, who has tenure, says you should stop worrying so much about getting tenure and just "enjoy" yourself. It's that easy!