Letters to the Dallas Morning News: Thoughts on the Bush library

Letters: Thoughts on the Bush library
Dallas Morning News
Saturday, January 20, 2007

Most faculty opposition is due to Bush Institute

Many Southern Methodist University faculty members object not to the Bush library, but to the accompanying policy institute, which was not part of the original proposal.

The White House introduced the idea of an institute to SMU in July 2005. Even then, only a few insiders knew anything about it, let alone that it would be entirely under the control of the Bush Foundation.

University President Gerald Turner first mentioned the institute to a broader segment of the faculty only last month. Still, the plan did not become widely known until he announced that SMU had been named the sole finalist for the library.

A Bush institute on campus would radically and irrevocably alter the ethos of academic life at SMU and change forever the way the world sees us. It would do so in ways that a library, or library-plus-school, would not. The question is not why we waited so long to voice our concerns, but rather why plans emerged only at the 11th hour.

Beth Newman, associate professor of English, Southern Methodist University, Dallas

SMU can’t pass up such a great opportunity

As an alumnus, I am proud SMU may become home of the Bush library and embarrassed by the mean-spirited, shamelessly political attempts by a few faculty and Methodist leaders to derail the project.

It is almost amusing that those who preach tolerance and academic freedom find little place for either when a Republican is involved. History will judge Mr. Bush’s performance as president. The opportunity to host a presidential library is a wonderful one that SMU should seize, notwithstanding these unfortunate distractions.

Sam Long, Dallas

More letters here.

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