Well, we’ve been told
So… the editors at the T-J think academics are whiners, “blindly” criticizing a decision to award an honorary degree to the sitting premier. Rather than thinking critically, it is alleged, the professors, continue to hold to their “cherished notion that government was engaged in a conspiracy against them, which a few brave professors thwarted.” What a load of gobbly-gook.
Lets look at the facts — the standard in journalism since the beginning of the 20th century when objectivity replaced partisanship in the media.
Insofar as the SAVE UNBSJ Campaign was successful — that is, that we still have a UNB campus in Saint John — it was successful because the community rallied behind the campus and told the government it could take the Miner-L’Ecuyer Report and put it where the sun doesn’t shine. Thousands of people took to the streets to express their views about the proposed changes to post-secondary education in the Port City — not just a “few brave professors.”
From City Hall to the Saint John Trades and Labour Council, there was support for the university, and contrary to the sanguine view of the editors at the T-J, the jury is still out on the government’s fallback position: “The Action Plan.”
It must also be noted that the claim in today’s opinion piece that those in the Ivory Tower (have they seen the buildings at Tucker Park??!!) believe there is a government conspiracy aimed squarely at the professoriate is based on two faulty assumptions: (1) that we are somehow important in the greater scheme of things in the legislature, and (2) that the government could mastermind such a conspiracy.
In the end, the premier’s political record — whether one sees it as good or bad — is only part of the problem.
Is it not apparent that awarding an honorary degree to the individual who allocates post-secondary education funding is as suspect as faculty accepting gifts from students? Certainly the faculty and administration take this view in internal matters: there is a policy regarding “gifts” between students and faculty at UNB.