Upset? Viewpoints? Farrell goes for a lightweight, breezy tone, making no effort to engage with his critics, who -- I dare say -- aren't going to believe that Farrell is paying "much attention to what makes for a quality educational experience."
I wish I could link to the article on Barrett in the Isthmus (a local paper), which ends with his expressing complete certitude that anyone reading the evidence would have to believe that the U.S. government carried out the 9/11 attacks. Where is the educational experience in learning from someone who is teaching completely outside of his field of expertise and expressing certitude in an obviously wrong theory? Ironically, Farrell's scholarly expertise is engineering.
Farrell relies on private conversations he had with Barrett, but Barrett's remarks in the Isthmus make it damned hard for ordinary Wisconsin citizens to believe that he could have given the appropriate assurances. And to tell us that we just aren't "paying attention" is insulting. I simply can't understand why Farrell doesn't take the criticisms seriously and speak to the citizens who are so outraged about this. If examining controversial ideas is such a "quality educational experience," why aren't the citizens of Wisconsin entitled to a little of it? Why brush them off and tell them that they just don't get it, they are not paying attention?
Sixty-one state lawmakers sent a letter Thursday calling on University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire [Barrett].Oh, yeah, it's all just politics. Sorry, forget it. Nobody actually cares about students and education in any kind of a principled way. Now, go. Get out of here. Go pay attention to some damned thing.
The letter signed by 52 Assembly representatives and nine state senators, including Republican leaders, condemns a decision earlier this month by UW-Madison Provost Pat Farrell allowing Kevin Barrett to teach an introductory class this fall on Islam.
Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said the letter, which called Barrett's views "academically dishonest," sent a strong message to top UW leaders....
The lawmakers sent the letter to the governor, university leaders and Barrett instead of approving a formal resolution offered by Nass during the last day of their session last week. Republicans did not take up the resolution, saying it was not the right day for political bickering.