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View Diary: Florida Governor Rick Scott Takes Aim at University Tenure (205 comments)

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  •  The firing of Edward A. Ross (2+ / 0-)
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    gffish, vahana

    By Jane Stanford - of Stanford - is a good place to start regarding academic freedom and the reason we have - and need - tenure.

    That's when the notion of tenure took hold. Intended to safeguard intellectual freedom, it was a direct response to efforts by wealthy industrialists (who were underwriting elite universities) to suppress their professors' populist ideas. Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University, likes to cite the case of a Stanford University professor, a radical sociologist named Edward A. Ross, who called for railroad systems to be owned by governments instead of private interests. The trouble was, Leland Stanford's widow headed the university's trustees; and Stanford himself, a former California governor, had amassed great wealth as a railroad builder. "The obvious remedy was to have Professor Ross fired," Dr. Levine said.

    And he was fired.

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