SENATE MATTERS: Professors offer different viewpoints on new center’s funding source


This edition of Senate Matters offers two pieces, below, that were directly precipitated by discussion in the Faculty Assembly of the newly announced Center for Governance and Markets and, in particular, the source of funding behind this new center. The authors did not review each other’s pieces before submitting them for publication. I imposed no editorial control over their views, but I did encourage them both to contribute to this paired format.

  • “Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth: The challenges that come wrapped up with controversial donations” by Mazviita Chirimuuta, associate professor and director of graduate studies, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, and Faculty Assembly member

I think it is fair to say that the general theme of the concerns expressed herein is academic freedom. And, while it is not uniformly true that the authors, Senate President Chris Bonneau and Faculty Assembly member Mazviita Chirimuuta, hold or express wholly opposing views on academic freedom, I think it is also fair to say that the concerns they share do reflect some of the dividing lines associated with this issue that have emerged recently.

Setting aside the particular details of either piece, I think we can all agree that fostering difficult but important discussions like this one is exactly the purpose of the Senate.

Join us in the Senate and see what we all can do together. 

Senate Vice President David Salcido is a research assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine. He is free Fridays at noon to talk in the normal way or over racquetball.