20.6.06

WE HAVE MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO. Northern Illinois University's administration has hired Raymond W. Alden III from Nevada-Las Vegas as provost. The Northern Star's coverage (summer classes began this week) includes this.
While at UNLV, the Campus Network awarded Nevada-Las Vegas second prize in their annual "Pollys," handed out to expose political correctness in academe, thanks in part to a punishment doled out by Alden. Alden headed a committee that suspended a UNLV professor for lecturing that homosexuals planned more for the short-term than heterosexuals in part because they are less likely to have children. The ruling was actually overturned by the university president, who said professors have a right to teach lecture ideas that are controversial.
If memory serves, the professor in question was an economist. If the new provost requires another mugging by reality, I'll have the coverage.

The university's press release includes the provost-designate's observations.

“NIU is a great university with a very bright future,” Alden said. “I was attracted both by the university’s growing reputation and by the themes President Peters established to guide NIU through its next phase of development. As I met with faculty and staff on campus, it became clear that NIU has a very strong ‘can-do’ attitude. That’s a quality you don’t find everywhere, and it’s going to be a critical component of the university’s success in the future.

“I’m very impressed with the progress Northern has made in a very short period of time and under very serious budget constraints,” Alden added. “The number of partnerships with schools, businesses, and national laboratories; the growth of multidisciplinary programs; the integration of classroom and extracurricular learning experiences – these are all signs of a very healthy, forward-thinking institution that’s growing in the way it needs to grow. NIU is at or near the top of a very short list of public universities making the transition from regional to national status, and I’m excited at the prospects of becoming part of that effort.”

Words are plentiful, deeds are precious.

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