Hamilton College's Robert L. Paquette is leaving after being marginalized for his conservative views, he saysHistorians in the News
Robert L. Paquette, a prizewinning history professor at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, decided to leave the campus after teaching there for 37 years, frustrated by what he deemed “marginalization” by other faculty and lack of support by the administration.
Paquette, whom Reason magazine labeled “the only conservative professor at Hamilton” in 2016 after he objected to the school’s new “diversity requirement,” has had a stormy history at Hamilton.
In 2006, Paquette and two colleagues tried to form the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization on campus. A college trustee and donor to the college, Carl Menges, committed $3.6 million to establish the institute, but college faculty members opposed it and overturned Paquette’s agreement with the college.
Paquette was not deterred. With the support of Menges and other alumni, he bought a building a mile from campus and created an independent organization, the Alexander Hamilton Institute (AHI). “Inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s life and work, the AHI promotes excellence in scholarship through the study of freedom, democracy, and capitalism as these ideas were developed and institutionalized in the United States and within the larger tradition of Western culture,” the organization’s charter says.
AHI programs include lectures on constitutional law and military history, an entrepreneurship club, undergraduate fellowships, a student-managed publication called Enquiry, and continuing education courses. Each year the institute holds a colloquium on a major topic such as “Western Civilization, Diversity and the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century.”
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