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GMLunactics

The proposed renaming of my law school—heretofore GMU School of Law, henceforth Antonin Scalia Law School—has met with resistance among faculty members elsewhere at GMU. My colleague Lloyd Cohen has described the contretemps and ably defended both Justice Scalia and the renaming decision in the Wall Street Journal.

What of the opposition?

The faculty members’ protest letter complains that “[a]s a Supreme Court Justice, Scalia enacted direct harms to many in our student body, especially students of color, women, and LGBT students.” Indeed.

Who are these people? You can meet some of them here. Worth a visit, including the comment section. I grant that the protest community may be more “diverse” than the law school faculty—in the way the Star Wars bar is more diverse. I do not grant that any of these people have done anything useful with their lives beyond monetizing identity and grievances. And I suspect that they in fact do what the late Antonin Scalia, for all his immense powers, could never do: “enact direct harms” to the student body.

I’m pretty sure of that because last year, the University sent a Diversity Kommissar to one of our faculty meetings, to lecture us on the “pedagogy of the oppressed.” That agenda is based on a book that’s the bible for a dozen-plus departments and programs at GMU. It says that students must be “co-creators of knowledge” and entails, e.g., that doctoral (!) students in an otherwise content-free course must be prepared to share “strategies for successfully negotiating dialogic inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary academic exchanges, as well as to ask questions of clarification, exploration of various dimensions of lived experiences, power and privilege, oppression and marginalization.” I’ll teach that, Madam Kommissar, once I’ve figured out what it could possibly mean.

In addition to their firm opposition to Justice Scalia’s enactments, the protesters complain that they weren’t consulted on the renaming. Well, that goes both ways: no one at the law school has ever been consulted about the escapades elsewhere at GMU—not when some high-paid huckster on the faculty demands a RICO investigation of “climate deniers”; not when the administration fabricates racial “incidents”; and not when entire departments waste everyone’s time and make students pay to “co-create” knowledge because the faculty are bereft of it.

My lived experience suggests that the lack of dialogic exchange is probably a good thing for all concerned.

Reader Discussion

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on May 06, 2016 at 10:58:52 am
Image of Mark Pulliam
Mark Pulliam
on May 06, 2016 at 11:27:20 am

It appears you are (righteously) pissed off.

The links are invaluable and should be followed to there ends.

We are observing the furtherance of "defining deviancy down;" to its evolution of "defining normalcy as deviant."

AND YET - GMU contains The Mercatus Center; a phenomenal Economics Department; has, not just "wordsmiths," but intellectuals like Tyler Cowen, et al. .

Still, as a displaced Virginian (from Fairfax County, in fact), approaching 92, it is disconcerting that the State Council on Higher Education has allowed the kind of hiring and curricula practices that form these weird "faculties."

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Image of R Richard Schweitzer
R Richard Schweitzer
on May 06, 2016 at 12:24:15 pm

Note the lack of hassle at GMU over the naming of the

The Schar School of Policy and Government

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2016/05/the-dwight-schar-school-of-policy-and-government.html

Board of Visitors approved immediately.

Look up Dwight Schar. Read the comments.

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Image of R Richard Schweitzer
R Richard Schweitzer
on May 09, 2016 at 08:52:24 am

Excellent piece as always. I am troubled, however. If students believe that they are actually “co-creators of knowledge,” then it's hard to understand why they pay so much money to go to GMU or any other establishment of "higher learning," since they believe that there is no such thing.

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Image of Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson
on May 09, 2016 at 09:27:18 am

Ah! Ron,

"co-creators of *knowledge*" is an academic buck-passing term.

It also reflects academic hubris.

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Image of R Richard Schweitzer
R Richard Schweitzer
on May 09, 2016 at 14:56:24 pm

" The liberal people throughout this university are efin' delusional idiots".
They have, up till now and moving forward, an agenda to subvert the US Constitution and indoctrinate everyone to their narrow ways of thinking; I hate these rat bastards that hate great people. Here are some web-sites....etc".
Say what you want, don't give me wrong I'm on your side, but all you people have the snobby little way of writing. Even Scalia spoken wrote in a way that is average people down here below Snoballville, could understand.
"Henceforth" you might consider toning it had down a bit. If you do, shit you might even get laid.

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Image of Bob Cox
Bob Cox
on May 09, 2016 at 14:59:27 pm

Pauden the typographical errors.

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Image of Bob Cox
Bob Cox

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.