Petitions To Fire Wicked Deans

I wrote an op-ed saying my provost shoudl be fired. I helped start a petition to get UCLA’s Dean Bernardo fired. Was this wrong? Was it hypocritical, as the subject msyself of a petition to be fired?

No, not at all. If you believe that Gordon Klein should not have been suspended as accounting lecturer, you must, as a matter of logical necessity, believe that Antonio Bernardo should be fired as dean. Do you think people who suspend lecturers because of political pressure should be deans? Surely not.

Well, many of you do of course, so long as the political pressure is from your own side, but I’m not writing to you— you do not believe in academic freedom, and what is left is simply a fight between Good and Evil, where you take the Evil side but like it better than what is traditiaonlly “Good”.

And, of course, firing deans for violating academic freedom is no more a contradiction than imprisoning kidnappers, fining embezzlers, or executing murderers. In any case, administrative jobs like President, Provost, Dean, and Chairman are policy jobs, and if their superiors disagree with them on policy, it’s fully appropriate to fire them. They returnt o being ordinary professors like me, if they have tenure, which they almost always do. It is no worse to fire Bernardo as dean for being against academic freedom than to not appoint me as dean because I’m a conservative. (I have many other disqualifications, but they pale by comparison.)