Save the Union

Professor Puka's letter describing the administration's response to his class

by Professor Bill Ye'shua Puka

My apologies for my slow response in grading your papers. This Sunday a personal emergency took me out of town. Today, the RPI administration is "formulating a response" to the note I sense all faculty about Wednesday's class and celebrations, and I've been queried about it--whether I am trying to use my power as a professor to help students subvert the Dean of Students denial of a protest submission. You might consider my responses a bit too direct, so I'll spare you their content. Well, I did say the last question was bait for me, were I a moron, to "incriminate myself" and invite some action by the administration, which I'd be happy to take. That, so long as it was understood that I was trying to subvert an infringement on the civil rights and additional academic rights of students to free speech and assembly, in violation also of explictly stated administration responsibilities to students.

One part of ethical excellence is having at least some minimal understanding of not overly authoritarian and unjust, unilateral treatment of people. Of managers, including academic managers, some minimal understanding of say, management, since one is drawing a salary on the assumption that one has some abilities in that area. Virtue is of this sort is not a phenomenon seemingly burdening tRPI's "powers that be." In addition to finishing the interview, I actually had to write them a long letter noting the best strategy for their side to use, trying to create a kind of win-win situation. Amazing.

Fun fact: Did you know that for the last twenty years dissidence has come from faculty in the physics department? The Faculty senate was suspended not many years ago under the rationale that a senior physics professor, then the president of the faculty senate had become to difficult to deal with. This is even worse than a dean claiming that a protest interferes with the nomral routine of the institute--well, duh, it's a protest.