Monday, April 17, 2006

Recruiting Vandals is No Way to Teach

Sally Jacobsen, and English and Women's Studies professor at Northern Kentucky University, saw a pro-life display on campus. A student group had set it up with permission, the sort of thing that happens as part of the normal exchange of ideas at campuses everywhere. Professor Jacobsen disagreed with the display. She felt her personal beliefs were "horribly violated."

What would you expect a decent professor to do here? Go on a rampage, like Islamist cartoon rioters? Write a letter to the campus paper? Set up her own counter-display? Or perhaps, if the professor saw her job as, you know, teaching students, go talk to the students she disagreed with and have a civilized argument?

No, she thought up a possibility that would never have occurred to me: she recruited students to destroy the display.

University president Jim Votruba has, to his great credit, strongly and publicly criticized the professor and the students. They will not only face campus discipline, but the case has also been turned over to the police.

As you know, we at the Gruntled Center are not prone to advocating harsh remedies. But in this case, I think Sally Jacobsen deserves more that just being fined. She deserves more than being fired. In my opinion, she has shown that she does not understand what a professor is.

Sally Jacobsen should be banned from the profession.


cynthia m. said...

and on top of the stated trangressions....she showed a vast amount of premeditated cowardice by recruiting students to do her dirty work....presumably so she could keep her job......

Gruntled said...

Amen. I have since heard that she was planning to retire this year, anyway, which is another form of cowardice.

ancho and lefty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ancho and lefty said...

Regarding the vandalism at NKU:

Three words:

Vocation, vocation, vocation

Shame on her!

Regarding previous, recent entries:

Long time since I checked in on the site and I have only these comments regarding previous entries on "unkatunks" and the recent entry on young women delaying marriage until their thirties. Basically, I think Scorcupine's comments are well-founded regarding the advantages of earlier marriages, but I think the "marriage first, profession later" argument overlooks the poor market in men at that age. As I have said before, in my twenties there was not a long line of men waiting outside my door seeking my hand in marriage. In fact, there were none. In sum, a woman's decision to marry late is not always just about wanting to put professionalism first, but is also about the fact that today, locating men to marry in your twenties can prove challenging, particularly if you are not inordinately wealthy or beautiful (as I was admittedly neither).

I thought myself quite clever though, but that did not seem to help my cause much. My point is that when college culture is about chalking up "unkatunks", one can rest-assured that the marriage question resides in another universe.

So which should or will happen first? A shift in college dating/unkatunk culture or a shift in women's professional/marital goals? What would provoke a shift in either? Clearly threats of HIV/Aids has not hindered casual sexual practices on college campuses and has not driven people to earlier marriages. If that won't do it, what will?

Hello, by the way!

Gruntled said...

I agree that it takes men longer to get in marriage gear, which can make for slim pickings at 22.
For my part, I think hookup culture prevents marriage, in ways that women don't fully understand and men haven't thought about. If no women hooked up, men would get serious about courtship earlier.

PV said...

I am reminded of the quote: "what good is a university where people don't attack each other hammer and tongs? Where nobody is going to get hurt?"

Apparently Prof. Jacobsen took that literally.

I echo President Votruba's thoughts. He recently released an official statement from the University which echoed the above sentiments, promoting the constant, perpetual questioning and re-questioning, analyzing and re-analyzing as part of the ultimate search for Truth and Understanding.

Finally, I support Gruntled's opinion: this professor should not just be forced to retire from NKU, but banned from the profession.

Gruntled said...

The latest news reports say that she recruited the students out of her graduate literature classes. It makes me wonder what they were saying about literature, too.