Duke professor Michael Allen Gillespie published an op-ed in the Durham Herald-Sun yesterday about the recently-concluded NCAA basketball finals. The fact that the schools who ended up facing each other in the championship, Duke and Butler, both are known for serious academics and high graduation rates as well as sports, is a win for all college sports, he says. Earlier this year, David Brooks of the New York Times praised Gillespie's essay on college sports and ethics in the book Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University. We are pleased to offer a free download of the chapter on our website. Click on the "Additional Info" tab on under "Explore More" to see the link.
Scott Jaschik interviews anthropologist Nancy Abelmann at Inside Higher Ed today. Abelmann, the author of The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation, answers questions about how Korean Americans' experience in universities differs from that of other ethnic groups, the role of family expectations and religion, and the issue of segregation. She says in the end, professors need to "make our classes meaningful venues in which students can indeed grow
and prepare themselves for a transformed and transforming world."
In his column for today's New York Times, David Brooks mentions our new collection Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University, edited by Elizabeth Kiss and J. Peter Euben. I particular Brooks singles out the essay "Players and Spectators: Sports and Ethical Training in the Modern University" by Duke University's Michael Allen Gillespie. Brooks calls the essay fascinating but he differs with Gillespie in his final assessment of the value of college sports. Gillespie, he writes, "wants to reform college sports into something smaller and more participatory." But Brooks believes college sports are important for community-building. He concludes, "Big-time college sports are absurd, but we would miss them if they were gone."
When Grant Farred first approached me about a special issue of SAQ on academic freedom, we were both very concerned about all the recent instances where faculty had been harassed, intimidated, sued, and often fired as a direct result of their political statements. Like other editors and contributors to special issues on the subject (e.g., Social Text and Works and Days), we felt the current political situation had led to a dramatic increase in these instances while at the same time academic freedom protections were being eroded generally. As our discussions progressed we determined to keep the immediate political circumstances of individual faculty at the central core of the issue, as we have with the essays from Norman Finkelstein, Eric Cheyfitz, who has been centrally involved in the Ward Churchill case, and Cary Nelson, who as AAUP president has a remarkable knowledge across the spectrum of community colleges, colleges, and universities.