Professor criticizes higher ed, uses real name: Oops!



I’ve seen many professors criticize what administration is doing, and I’ve seen them punished severely, every time. Even straightforward criticisms like “The Dean’s girlfriend shouldn’t get that job over someone with actual qualifications” is basically a career-ending mistake, as too few legitimate faculty exist to stand against even the most miscreant behavior.

Even tenured professors with long and distinguished careers are in immediate jeopardy if they dare try to do anything about the various madnesses infecting higher education. Today, I’ll like to introduce my gentle readers to Barry Spurr, an Australian Professor of Poetry of some note, who dared voice a criticism of the multiculturalism in Australian education in a curriculum review:

“The review was critical of the demonisation of Western civilisation and Australia’s Judaeo-Christian heritage in the curriculum, and called for the focus on indigenous history and Asian studies to be scaled back.”

Australian education, like in the US, has been infested with Educationists. While here we have an over-reliance on Gender Studies and African Studies coursework (together demonizing the white male), Australia, it seems, devotes considerable time and appreciation to the aborigine culture there, to the detriment (in Professor Spurr’s learned opinion), of other fields of knowledge and other cultures.

“And whereas the local curriculum has the phrase ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ on virtually every one of its 300 pages, the Californian curriculum does not ONCE mention native Americans and has only a very slight representation of African-American literature (which, unlike Abo literature, actually exists and has some distinguished productions).”

–“Abo” is short for “Aborigine”

Professor Spurr had numerous other criticisms, but little different than anything said elsewhere. Australian administrators are every bit as vicious as the ones here. Ok, that’s just conjecture on my part, but, somehow, days after his criticisms, Professor Spurr’s private e-mails from long ago were released to the public, and, somehow, the media was instantly perfectly confident the e-mails were legitimate, and thus these e-mails were quickly published.

I find it curious that when government agencies get hacked, the media takes a long, hard, time before releasing any information they get, but this guy’s e-mails were released instantly. Hmm.

I mean, seriously, the time between “criticism” and “private e-mails released” is so short that it’s hard not to consider this as some sort of retaliation. These e-mails reveal some, shall we say, “indelicate racial humor”, as well as further criticism of goings on.
“…Prof Spurr defended his email comments, claiming they were part of a “whimsical linguistic game” where he and a colleague would try and outdo each other with extreme statements…”

I concede Spurr’s defense is pretty feeble. That said, we’re talking 2 year’s worth of e-mails here…it’s highly curious that nobody in the media suspects an ulterior motive, or is able to figure out a possible source (hint: administration has full access to all e-mail accounts). Spurr claims the e-mail snippets were taken out of context, and, alas, the media isn’t providing complete transcripts (“for ethical reasons”—I’m glad I wasn’t drinking milk when I read that!). So, despite Spurr’s odd defense, the unwillingness of the source to provide full transcripts, just the parts that make Spurr look bad, leaves me little choice but to at least consider Spurr’s defense.

Let’s look at a few quotes of what he privately said to see what got the good professor immediately suspended, and is, somehow, being used to justify negating what he had to say about the curriculum review. While no defense is necessary, I’ll add some comments:

Good series on SBS about the Amish in these weeks. Once in their lives, as late teens, they go in a group from Pennsylvania into \’the world\’ for a few weeks. The progam showed four of them, two boys, two girls, going to the UK this year for this excursion. The juxtaposition of these impeccably mannered, demurely dressed, softly spoken, intelligent (and not self-righteous or morbidly pious) youngsters up against the reality of modern-day Brit was as fascinating as it was terrible.

–How DARE the good professor suggest that devout Christians are in any way superior to British youth and their government education! While most media reports ignore this quote, I think it’s a good quote, since it tells me Professor Spurr is looking up from his books and asking questions about the possibility that what’s going on in government schools is Not A Good Thing. I must continue this passage, because it’s so revealing of Professor Spurr’s character:

This week came the most ironic moment of all. They had gone to spend a week with some minor nobility in their Scottish castle. These toffs consisted of divorced mum and four teenagers – the two girls looking and sounding like low-grade Soho whores (caked with makeup and mascara, grubby denim micro-mini-skirts and \’you know\’, \’yeah\’, \’like\’, \’kinda wow\’ etc) and the boys, monosyllabic scruffy slobs.

After every segment, the program has the Amish youngsters commenting on what they\’re experiencing and this week\’s took the cake, in this context. It was one of the Amish girls, pretty, fresh-faced, squeaky-clean, beautifully, softly spoken in grammatical sentences and, of course, in a long dress and hair neatly groomed. And this is what she said, while the whores and louts were lounging and cavorting in the distant background: \’We have been very privileged to meet these high class British people. Their world is very different from ours. I never thought I would come to such a place and meet such people of the high class\’. High class!!

Hilarious, and she was so innocent I don\’t think she saw the irony of her well-mannered phrase, as the scum of the earth were behind her. The only class act was hers.

–The Professor is being castigated for the use of “whore”, but, again, I want to remind the gentle reader that this is a private e-mail, not a formal discussion. And again, it’s clear the Professor is questioning what’s going on in the world. Does anyone else remember when the British Isles were famous for their politeness and civilized nature? Now, nigh-literally, it’s the Luddites who are the civilized. Why doesn’t media mention this passage at all? Hmm.

Unlike the media, I’ll show both sides of the good professor’s private e-mails, focusing on the more negative ones next time.