A small victory has been won for academic freedom (see here and here for details). After suggesting on a radio talk show that 9-11 was an "inside job," Kevin Barrett--an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison--was in danger of losing his job once local politicians caught wind of the interview and called for his ouster. The response by UWM Provost Patrick Farrell is worth quoting:
We cannot allow political pressure from critics of unpopular ideas to inhibit the free exchange of ideas...classroom interaction is central to this university’s mission and to the expansion of knowledge...it is in cases like this—difficult cases involving unconventional ideas—that we define our principles and determine our future.
Unsurprisingly, Representative Steve Nass--who was chiefly responsible for trying to get Barrett fired--has subsequently vowed to use the “power of the purse-string” to seek administrative cuts in the state-funded university budget. Way to go Steve! You show those damn leftists--with their convoluted and highfalutin notions of academic freedom--who's in charge!