Friday, July 18, 2008

SMU Hurtles Toward Disgrace

Massive efforts to keep a Presidential Liebury cum "Think" Tank from despoiling the educational atmosphere at SMU failed yesterday. An effort to retain a smidgeon of reputable image was successful, though.

Efforts to block construction of a George W. Bush policy institute at Southern Methodist University failed by a narrow margin at a regional Methodist conference Thursday.

But foes of the institute – a planned part of the Bush presidential library complex – said that they may plot another strategy to keep the issue alive before the meeting ends Saturday.

The vote came at a conference of the United Methodist Church's South Central Jurisdiction, which owns SMU. The showdown was the culmination of months of debate among Methodist ministers and church members.

Roughly 275 delegates spent much of the day voting on a series of proposals related to the Bush library. They rejected, by a vote of 158 to 118, a measure that sought to prevent SMU from leasing land for the institute.

"It was a lot closer than I thought it'd be," said the Rev. Danny Gleason of Louisiana, who voted for the measure.

The delegates later approved a resolution saying they expect the institute to protect SMU's integrity, signaling that they don't want the institute's work to affect SMU's academic independence.
Opponents of the institute were considering whether to request that the denomination's Judicial Council – its highest court – consider whether church law would be violated by leasing land to what they have characterized as a "partisan, political think thank."

Sadly, the money involved overcame principles even in the church's operation. There will be a last-ditch effort, but hopes are not high after the marshalled forces of all the people in the Methodist church hierarchy who react against the torture administration failed.

I'll wait and see before I end my mostly historic membership in the Methodist church.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent six weeks of summer between junior and senior years of H.S. at SMU (attending math camp, as my friends laughingly referred to was via an NSF grant).

And I thought Washington D.C. was hot in July!

I hope the SMUsians (I know they're the Mustangs, I had that bookbag for years before it fell apart) come to their senses.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I hope the smell of money can be overcome by the stench of corruption emitted by the war criminals, but so far the devaluation of any academic reputation SMU ever hoped for is perfectly acceptable to the officials, with, most likely, great rewards to come for them.

5:28 AM  

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