Mark Bauerlein: An Episode at Hamilton--Paquette and Urgo





[Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University.]

On April 19, 2010, Robert Paquette, professor of history at Hamilton College, in New York, published an article entitled “Dictatorships and Double Standards” on the Web site of the National Association of Scholars. It’s a biting piece on dogmatic liberal/progressivist attitudes among professors, and it takes as a prime example the fate of Christopher Hill, a medieval historian hired to teach at Hamilton on a “term appointment” in 2006. Paquette reviews Hill’s record as a scholar and teacher, then recounts the unpleasant fact that he was rejected as a candidate when his position was redefined as tenure-track. Paquette believes that Hill was turned down because of his politics (a “self-described libertarian”) and for his failure to fit preferred diversity categories. Others hired recently “seemed not to have faced the same standard for publications that were excluding Professor Hill from serious consideration.”

Read closely Paquette’s two-sentence rendition of the search committee judgment:

“A majority faction, similar in composition and outlook to the one responsible for the abolition of the Western civilization requirement, determined, despite the dissenting voices of four senior members of the department, that Professor Hill was largely unworthy of serious consideration for the tenure-track position. Indeed, because of King Numbers, he didn’t make it out of the blocks past the first lap of consideration.”...




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