A View from Across the Pond

Well, our former imperial overlords have started to take notice of the debate over the Bush Library and Institute. This is from a prominent London newspaper. A bit behind the curve — there’s no mention of the push for a faculty referendum on the Institute — but the article does hit some of the issues about the proposed Institute’s governance and relation to the rest of SMU. And it’s clear how strange our Presidential Library system looks to at least some outsiders — what democracy gives former heads of state so much control over the documents of state created during their administrations?

University Goes to War on Bush Legacy
Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian
January 31, 2007

In a neighbourhood of Dallas where stone mansions rise out of lush green lawns, there is a corridor of low-slung flats whose demolition, now begun, could soon give way to much greater grandeur. Here, on the eastern edges of Southern Methodist University, may one day stand the George W Bush presidential library, museum and thinktank, a multimillion dollar complex that could become a beacon of conservative thought.

Except that to the considerable embarrassment of the university and the White House, many people, on campus and off, are demanding that Mr Bush take his legacy some place else.

Continued here.

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