Bush Institute Debate Refuses to Die

March 22, 2007

While some of my colleagues have expressed a sense of fatigue over the ongoing library-institute debate, the discussion continues, with new voices and perspectives joining the chorus. A new petition asking for the removal of the institute off-campus has been circulated by email to all faculty with an initial batch of signatories, with a rejoinder (also sent by email) from another group. (I’ll try to post these missives as soon as I can, but my day job keeps interfering with these sorts of endeavors . . .)

Today’s Daily Campus contributes to the debate. The paper reports on the removal of an image of the proposed complex from a local TV station’s website, after SMU officials reported to the station that the image was inaccurate. As the article reports, SMU hasn’t revealed any artist’s rendering of the plans, and even the location of the complex on SMU’s campus remains uknown. And Shannon C. Jacuzzi weighs in with another piece about her proposed “collaborative think tank.”

Furthermore, a staff editorial entitled “Miers Embarasses Her Alma Mater” points to the current U.S. Attorney scandal as a reason for SMU to avoid over-identification with the Bush administration and its circles.

The current scandal, and its multitude of SMU connections, makes us wonder if this isn’t a huge sign that maybe it’s not the best idea to be so cozy with the Bush administration.

Just when you think things can’t get any worse, a new scandal pops up that makes you wonder what the hell is going on.

Oh well, we’re probably just overreacting.

We look forward to reading Gonzales’ defense of the firings a few years from now in his cozy office in the Bush Institute.

An interesting and plausible scenario, and my hope is that the library-institute debate and contributions like today’s student newspaper editorial, will impress upon SMU’s leadership the need not to over-identify with the Bush circles, even if the library and institute end up at SMU. Maybe the next Republican victory rally won’t be held on campus?