'We All Felt Trapped'

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Jan 26, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"In all of drama and comedy there is no figure more laughable as a rich man who does not know what he is doing," writes Paul Mason. He's writing about the elites in Europe who have no understanding of why austerity failed in Greece (hint: rich people there still pay no tax). But he may as well been talking about the moguls at MIT, who can't comprehend what went wrong in the case of Walter Lewin. A couple quotes, at least, had me thinking this way. "I would call it an unprecedented area," said Erin Buzuvis, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies at Western New England University. "There isn’t even a lot of precedent for online harassment in general." Um, what? “We have never in the academic profession -- never, never -- in a collective way looked at the threat posed by professors,” (Billie Wright) Dziech (a professor of English at the University of Cincinnati) said. Because, you know, those in power would never behave badly.

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