We are often told by HE WHO WILL NOT DO HIS HOMEWORK that leftist radicals exercise an absolute lock on hiring practices at universities, employing a blacklist to prevent conservatives from receiving faculty appointments. It is suggested that state legislatures need to take action to assure that faculty hiring will be done strictly on the basis of scholarly merit.
Then again, on May 1 Georgetown University announced that it has hired Douglas Feith as a Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service. This is, of course, the same Douglas Feith who was a master builder for the Iraq war policies and the peculiar intelligence releases in support of the war. Professor Feith does hold a law degree from Georgetown, but he has no advanced degrees in the subject matter of foreign service studies and no peer-reviewed publications. Further, the appointmnet was made with none of the faculty review ordinarily given to even a beginning visiting professr of freshman composition.
And what about the question of injecting political ideology into the curriculum? Turns out that is precisely what Feith is being hired to do at Georgetown. When I first heard of this in a news broadcast, I heard only that Feith was to teach courses on counter-terrorism strategies. However, it turns out that Feith has been hired for a far more specific purpose. The Georgetown University Press Release announcing the appointment states that "Beginning Fall 2006, he will teach a course on the Bush Administration’s strategy behind the war on terrorism to students in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. "
So much for meritocracy -- So much for teaching "both" sides of political controversies.
By way of contrast, Madeleine Albright, also on the Foreign Service faculty at G'town, holds a PhD from Columbia (you may recall that her father taught Secretary of State Rice), and passed full faculty review before becoming a distinguished professor.
Don't know what procedures were followed when George Tenet, another G'town alum, was appointed to the faculty of the Foreign Service School -- His highest degree is an MA from Columbia.
But it does make you wonder -- on the one hand, we hear a constant howling from the Right about tenured radicals who are professors of saxophone but teach peace studies, or professors of literature who have the unmitigated and unqualified gall to teach Marxist Studies -- but somehow the appointment of well-placed alums without academic credentials to high-level professorships without faculty review brings nary a whimper from the Right --