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Univ. Of Nebraska Cancels Ayers Keynote

Here is the original press release from University Of Nebraska-Lincoln giving the glad tidings:

U. of Illinois scholar Ayers to give talk at UNL college

Released on 10/16/2008
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15

Lincoln, Neb., October 16th, 2008 — The keynote speaker for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Education and Human Science’s student research conference will be William Ayers, a distinguished professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ayers’ Nov. 15 talk, which is open to UNL faculty and students, is “We are Each Other’s Keepers: Research to Change the World.” His interests include teaching for social justice, urban educational reform, narrative and interpretive research, children in trouble with the law, and related issues. He is the author of “To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher,” which in 1993 was named Book of the Year by Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society in education.

“We are pleased to offer this opportunity for our students and faculty to hear a nationally acclaimed scholar, researcher and advocate for children and urban education reform,” said Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Ayers earned his bachelor’s degree in American Studies from University of Michigan; two master’s degrees in early childhood education, at Bank Street College and at Columbia University; and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Columbia University. He has been named a distinguished scholar and an honorary doctor at several major universities and has held leadership positions for the American Educational Research Association, among other honors.

Ayers’ activism in the 1960s and ’70s recently has been drawn into headlines during the presidential campaign. Kostelnik said his remarks and his visit to the college are for his scholarly research, not politics.

“The controversy that has erupted during the election is unfortunate but it is not part of what he is asked here to Nebraska to discuss,” she said. Questions following the talk will be moderated and be on the topic of research in teaching. Kostelnik said no state money is being used for the private lecture and no students or faculty are required to attend. Ayers was selected for the lecture in March by a faculty committee.

And here is the UNL’s press release reluctantly announcing that this historic lecture will have to be canceled — due to “safety concerns”:

Ayers talk at UNL canceled

Released on 10/17/2008
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 15

Lincoln, Neb., October 17th, 2008 — A speech that was to be part of a student research conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Education and Human Science by William Ayers, a distinguished professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been canceled.

Ayers’ activism in the 1960’s and ’70’s recently has been in headlines during the presidential campaign.

“Ayers was selected for the lecture in February by a faculty committee because of his expertise in research related to small schools and urban education,” said Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

The university’s threat assessment group monitored e-mails and other information UNL received regarding Ayers’ scheduled Nov. 15 visit, and identified safety concerns which resulted in the university canceling the event.

It’s hard to say which is more appalling.

That Mr. Ayers was invited to such an event in the first place, or that they are only canceling his keynote address due to “safety concerns.”

Putting aside Mr. Ayers terrorist past, are these “educators” unconcerned about what Mr. Ayers is currently teaching?

As we have noted several times previously, the core of Mr. Ayers doctrine is that the public schools should be used to teach social revolution.

Do the faculty at the University Of Nebraska agree with that?

Of course that question pales in view of the fact that our presumptive next President obviously agrees with William Ayers.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 20th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Univ. Of Nebraska Cancels Ayers Keynote”

  1. BillK says:

    From the Omaha World-Herald:

    University cancels speech by Ayers

    By Henry J. Cordes and Khristopher J. Brooks

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln rescinded its speaking invitation tonight for 1960s radical-turned-educator William Ayers.

    University officials cited “safety reasons” for canceling Ayers’ Nov. 15 appearance.

    Spokeswoman Kelly Bartling declined to elaborate on what safety concerns would keep Ayers from addressing a College of Education and Human Sciences event.

    Earlier today, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman strongly condemned the invitation and called on the NU Board of Regents and President J.B. Milliken to block it.

    Heineman said through a spokeswoman this evening that he was pleased the university had reconsidered and rescinded the invitation.

    An Omaha charitable foundation had announced it was pulling all of its contributions to the university. Several other donors also have indicated to university fundraisers that there could be a financial cost if Ayers speaks.

    And Nebraskans by the hundreds continued to register their opposition with university administrators and others, lighting up phone lines and filling e-mail boxes.

    Heineman said Ayers’ invitation was “an embarrassment” to the state and that it goes beyond the bounds of the university’s mission.

    “Our citizens are clearly outraged and want action,” Heineman said in an interview. “This is their university. This isn’t even a close call. The university should immediately rescind the invitation.”

    Dean Marjorie Kostelnik said she spoke Thursday night with UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman about “the climate around this issue.”

    She said she also has spoken with representatives of Milliken’s office.

    Other public officials weighed in about Ayers on Friday, a day after the UNL speech was announced.

    Both Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, and Rep. Lee Terry, a Republican, called for cancellation of the speech.

    The invitation made to William Ayers to speak at my alma mater in the midst of a heated national election when he is such a highly controversial figure is an outrage,” Terry said.

    Nelson said the visit would not promote the unity now needed in the nation.

    Attorney General Jon Bruning also said UNL made the correct choice.

    “I think its good news for the university,” he said. “I dont think there was any good way for the university to disassociate itself with his past.”

    State Auditor Mike Foley sent the university a long request for information on Ayers’ trip, its planning and how it is being funded. UNL officials have said Ayers’ appearance would be privately funded.

    Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical group that staged domestic bombings to protest the Vietnam War. Ayers was charged with conspiracy to incite riots, but the charges were dropped because of misconduct by prosecutors.

    Ayers went on to gain respect in the education field and become a scholar known for his ideas on school reform. At UNL, the plan was for him to limit his speech to graduate education students to that topic.

    The invitation to Ayers was extended in February, long before he became a household name in this year’s presidential election because of his ties to candidate Sen. Barack Obama through their shared work a few years ago with a school reform effort.

    The Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation in Omaha told the university Friday that it would halt all contributions to the university unless the UNL education faculty rescinded Ayers’ invitation. The foundation has given millions to the university in the past.

    While other donors haven’t been as explicit, Clarence Castner, who leads the University of Nebraska Foundation, said it became clear that other contributions were “in jeopardy.”

    Scholars said a decision to pull an invitation to Ayers could be seen by educators nationally as a school-sponsored curb on academic freedom.

    It would make UNL a less attractive school to the faculty members it seeks to recruit, said David Moshman, a UNL education professor writing a book on academic freedom.

    http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=10463012

    In all seriousness, I expect some other college to invite Ayers to speak immediately to show how open and elightened they are.

    Nothing like inviting a pro-socialism terrorist to your school to show that you stand for uh, freedom…

  2. Not all Republicans are rich says:

    Does Ayers get paid for such appearances? If so, does this contradict his pro-socialist views? Just a question…..

  3. BillK says:

    Socialists have never had problems taking money, especially from “rich capitalists” – like those who can afford to send their kids to UNL.

  4. platypus says:

    “… his scholarly research, not politics.”

    In my 10th grade English class, I must have missed the part where violent criminal acts are politics.

    I guess this means I should dye my hair blonde.

  5. Lipstick on a PIAPS says:

    Ah, if only the donors at the University of Illinois could get the testicles that the University of Nebraska has. What a wonderful world it would be. ;-)

  6. Sharps Rifle says:

    It’s the Lincoln campus, which has been hard left for 40 years, and hasn’t concentrated on actually teaching anything since their football team won their first national championship in 1971. Bluntly, UNL has been taking up space and handing out worthless diplomas for decades, so the fact that their version of the College of Education invited a terrorist only confirms what many Nebraskans know (but are too blindered by Cornhusker worship to admit): UNL is a fraud, and it’s UNO and UNK that actually are the non-dysfunctional campuses.

    UNL should concentrate on what was always its academic strong suit: Mammal paleontology. When they got away from that, they became a PC joke. UNL’s chancellor and deans should be canned, their funding sent to the Omaha campus, and the law school moved to Omaha as well. They should be taught a lesson for having decided to go political and for forgetting what they’re there for: Educating, not indoctrinating.

  7. Consilience says:

    This man should have to exercise capitalism by making his way outside of the education establishment. No college should employ him and the ones that do should be held in account. He’s Tim McVeigh—free except for a technicality. He made the messiah and soon-to-be-president—-unless good people do the right thing. Our Country is headed down the socialist path barring a miracle at the polls. U of I is a state institution—-our institutions should be held to account. The fed is not accountable to the several states—the states should succeed if the problem is not rectified. Liberty is more important than union

  8. Consilience says:

    This man should have to exercise capitalism by making his way outside of the education establishment. No college should employ him and the ones that do should be held in account. He’s Tim McVeigh—free except for a technicality. He made the messiah and soon-to-be-president—-unless good people do the right thing. Our Country is headed down the socialist path barring a miracle at the polls. U of I is a state institution—-our institutions should be held to account. The fed is not accountable to the several states—the states should succeed if the problem is not rectified. Liberty is more important than union.

  9. artboyusa says:

    How many professorships does this guy have? Are there no qualified people out there who aren’t terrorists to fill those chairs? And why does he look like Ginger Baker in that photo? Hmmmm….

  10. Grassy Knoll says:

    Safety concerns? Wouldn’t it have been ironic if a bomb had gone off in the theater? With no one hurt, of course, just like Mr. Ayers’ explosives. Ayers would have had to somehow support that sort of “free speech.”


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