Friday, April 14, 2006

Censorship at Ohio State

Maggie45 in comments, and at least one emailer, brought my attention to this appalling story:

Officials at the Ohio State University are investigating an OSU Mansfield librarian for “sexual harassment” after he recommended four conservative books for a freshman reading program. ADF has demanded that OSU cease its frivolous investigation, yet the university is pressing forward, claiming that it takes the charges “seriously.”

“Universities are one of the most hostile places for Christians and conservatives in America,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David French, who heads ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom. “It is shameful that OSU would investigate a Christian librarian for simply recommending books that are at odds with the prevailing politics of the university.”

Scott Savage, who serves as a reference librarian for the university, suggested four best-selling conservative books for freshman reading in his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee. The four books he suggested were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum. Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.

(Link courtesy of Ace of Spades)

Eugene Volokh has some thoughts worth reading as well (link via Instapundit). As he points out, ADF, the source of the above letter, is a conservative Christian advocacy organization, and thus not unbiased.

Still, if the story as described by ADF is accurate, the situation amounts to an outrageous assault on intellectual freedom. If so, it is yet another example of how the left's politicization of academia has made a mockery of free inquiry. I won't hold my breath waiting for ALA to take a stand in defense of Mr. Savage.


Blogger Norma said...

If this has been reported around here (where OSU is located), I haven't heard it. I'll have to check with some of my former colleagues at OSUL.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Maggie45 said...

The matter was dropped, thank goodness. Here are the three articles Eugene Volokh posted about it.

Thank G-d for the blogosphere. These things can't be hidden anymore. Oh, and Instapundit was wondering if the ALA did anything for the librarian. LOL. Keep wondering, Glenn.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just one more example of the far left polarization of most state university campuses. Anything that remotely disagrees with the utopian PC vision is relentlessly attacked.

Some posters at Inside Higher Education are upset that he consulted with a conservative org. for legal defense for legal defense. WTF was he supposed to do, the university was about to terminate his career with a big black mark - sexual harrassment.

If you can't discuss "offensive" books at a university, where can you?

9:31 AM  

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