Today the Associated Press has a helpful report by Angela Brown on the February 14 Faculty Senate meeting. The Senate voted to endorse the SMU historians’ statement on Executive Order 13233, and added to that statement a request that SMU president R. Gerald Turner ask President Bush to rescind the order. In another measure, it also asked for responses from Turner and the board to a series of concerns focusing on the Bush Institute and joint (or, in the new politically correct terminology, “concurrent”) appointments.
This AP report raises two interesting issues. The first is how President Turner will respond to the request re Executive Order 13233. As the report says,
Brad Cheves, SMU’s vice president for external affairs and development, said Turner would consider the resolutions carefully. Cheves said he did not know if Turner would ask Bush to rescind the order because the SMU president has not yet seen the resolution.
I’m betting that Turner won’t ask Bush to revoke the order, though maybe I understimate him. If he doesn’t, or doesn’t reply to the Faculty Senate, will the Senate try to press this issue?
The second issue relates to statements by Andy Hemming, head of SMU’s chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (who wrote a guest blog several weeks ago). Hemming is ready to rumble with the faculty opponents of the Institute:
But student Andy Hemming said faculty who oppose the library project have changed their positions, first saying they oppose the library, then only the institute and now the executive order.
“The student body as a whole feels ignored; the faculty is going off on their own,” Hemming said Wednesday. “I think their (professors’) problem is with George Bush.”
(For the record, I think the Library is acceptable, the Institute as constituted is dangerous, and the executive order is is unacceptable). But more to the point, does this mean that Hemming likes the Library and Institute because he likes Bush? If so, who is being partisan here? Would he welcome the establishment of an ideologically driven think tank by advocates of affirmative action, with concurrent appointments in SMU departments, backed by tens of millions of dollars, that reports to a board of directors of Clinton family members and friends? Especially if the Clintons already had friends and family members on the SMU Board of Trustees?