Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Tenure Battle at Brooklyn College

The fur is flying at Brooklyn College over the administration’s denial of tenure to Robert David Johnson, a young professor of U.S. diplomatic history. Although he has an impressive record of scholarship (two books published by Harvard University Press, and he’s only in his mid-30s), and is a highly popular teacher, there are apparently concerns about his "collegiality." According to one source at the college, Johnson has "alienated practically everybody, no matter what political orientation, whether left-wing, right-wing, or no wing."

However, the local chapter of the National Association of Scholars smells a rat. According to them, Johnson’s trouble stems from his public questioning of Brooklyn College’s affirmative action policies, and his objection to a "teach-in" on the war on terrorism that included not a single defender of U.S. or Israeli foreign policy. The full story is documented here.

As a side note, I’ve met Johnson personally, and he’s no conservative. However, his scholarship is top-notch; indeed, twenty-four leading historians of all political stripes have issued a public protest over the denial of tenure.

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