Remembering Robert E. Haskell


Decency was his hallmark

Today marks six years since my chum Rob Haskell’s death — his obit here. Rob was at the forefront of academic freedom/free speech 20 years ago. Not surprisingly, this kind, generous and open-minded academic was treated very shabbily by the lily–livered and bulling commissar regressives — they were out to get him in no uncertain terms. With hindsight, so much of what he told me about university skullduggery now makes perverse sense: little did Rob know just how illliberal things had become. It was a shock to him given his unimpeachable bona fides as a genuine liberal — were no longer valued currency. The following extract is from a publication by Rob. Of course, the Dershowitz talking below is Alan D:

Last semester, says Dershowitz, “a small group of students complained about my teaching…[subject]… from a civil liberties perspective.” I responded that it was important for the students to hear a variety of perspectives about…[subject]…, just as they hear, without objection, about other crimes. I also reminded them that the majority of students who speak in class present the “politically correct” views. I told them that the answer to an offensive argument is not to censor but rather to come up with a better argument. A few days later, one of the students told me that I should expect to be “savaged” in the evaluations that each teacher receives from the students.

Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Student Evaluation of Faculty: Galloping Polls In The 21st Century, Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 5 Number 6 February 12, 1997. Italics added.