Stonewalled

At tonight’s Student Revisioning Committee meeting, a faculty member from one of the targeted departments described a culture of “blatant intimidation” toward professors who speak up against Emory policies and visible efforts to buy off potential critics.

First, there was a meeting with the Faculty Council (a branch of the university senate) last week, at which several members of targeted departments were barred from contributing.[1] The same cohort of professors was allowed to address the Governing Committee. How did the GovComm answer their questions?

“Stonewalled. Completely stonewalled. They simply sat in silence.”

Actually, they answered one question. Asked about the power given to those eight professors who conducted secret audits of departments (not their own, of course) and lied about their plans, the GovComm admitted that it had “oversight, but no jurisdiction” over them. A whole new definition of government, perhaps? Or is Emory now a state of exception?

Vocal faculty members are experiencing an even more aggressive version of what student activists face: sleek, professional indifference. Roger Sikes, who facilitated the SRC meeting, put it succinctly: “It’s not about building a rational argument; we already have that. What we don’t have yet is power.”

[1] For the record, the editor of this blog is baffled by all these committee and board names, too, but note: members of the faculty are outsiders on the Faculty Council.

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