Faculty Group at Southern Methodist U. Wants to Know How Partisan Bush Library Would Be

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Debate over the proposed George W. Bush presidential library at Southern Methodist University intensified on the campus last week when a group of faculty members sent a letter to the university's president, R. Gerald Turner, asking for a" campuswide dialogue" on the role and effect the library would have at SMU.

According to the letter, faculty members at the Dallas institution are concerned that an accompanying policy center for the study of Mr. Bush's presidency would be too biased in favor of Mr. Bush. Out of 609 full-time faculty members and 127 faculty emeriti, 65 signed the letter, which was circulated by Susanne Johnson, an associate professor of theology. Ms. Johnson could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

The letter acknowledges that the university's leadership champions a nonpartisan policy center that would promote objective research about Mr. Bush and his legacy. But it also expresses doubt that the policy center would fulfill such a vision, as Mr. Bush has publicly stated that he envisions the center as a partisan policy think tank, following the model of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University....

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