Saturday, May 15, 2010

Showing Some Spine?

Well, maybe. The University of Virginia is finally evaluating ALL options in responding to the state attorney general's subpoena of academic research records. University officials have hired outside counsel, a sensible move since its own legal staff are affiliated with the state attorney general's office.

When the subpoena was first announced the university emphasized its legal duty to comply. Not a word about the subpoena's impact on free inquiry. Academics from around the nation and within the university spoke up for academic freedom well before UVA's administration. For a school that celebrates its Jeffersonian spririt of free thought and inquiry, UVA's response was embarrassingly tepid.

Just because UVA is seeking legal advice, it doesn't mean it will actually fight the subpoena but at least the university's administrators are beginning to see what slavish cooperation with a witch hunt will do to its reputation.



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