Faculty Senate Presses SMU President on Executive Order

February 15, 2007

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?

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Faculty Senate resolution challenges Bush order

February 15, 2007

Faculty Senate resolution challenges Bush order
Sarah Scott
SMU Daily Campus
February 15, 200

The Faculty Senate approved a resolution Wednesday challenging an executive order from President George W. Bush that would allow presidents to keep records classified indefinitely. The Senate also passed a resolution listing concerns about the Bush Library complex.

A third resolution with questions about joint and concurrent appointments for staff at the proposed Bush Institute was tabled.

According to English professor Dennis Foster, “It was the first time that the Senate has gotten to really discuss the nuts and bolts of what the relationship between SMU and the institute might be.”

Continued here.


SMU history faculty pans Bush’s privacy order

February 15, 2007

SMU history faculty pans Bush’s privacy order
Holly K. Hacker
Dallas Morning News
February 15, 2007

Southern Methodist University’s faculty senate went on record Wednesday as opposing an executive order that could limit access to presidential records – a concern since the George W. Bush Presidential Library is probably headed to SMU.

The senate voted to endorse a letter signed by SMU’s history department, which states its opposition to an order that President Bush signed in 2001. The order allows current and former presidents, starting with President Ronald Reagan, and their heirs to keep White House records sealed indefinitely without any particular reason or justification.

Continued here.