Monday, February 4, 2008

Memo from the Scooter Libby Chair in Political Ethics

SMU is planning for the eventual George W. Bush presidential library and public policy institute. The Orwellian-monickered "Freedom Institute" has raised much resistance among SMU and Methodist types concerned with the complete lack of university oversight this partisan "think tank" will have. Here is a great Unfair Park blog post about Rev. Andrew Weaver, SMU Perkins School of Theology grad and opponent of the Bush Institute at SMU. Someone posted some stuff from Weaver in the comments section that is worth a read. Here is the petition, which I will sign directly as an alumnus. It may already be too late, but there is a possibility that Weaver can force a vote on this by the South Central Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church.

Here's my position: a presidential library managed by the National Archives (assuming everything isn't shredded and classified) is an asset to any university. This is the place where scholars will come to study the documents and help write the history. A school of public service and even a non-partisan policy institute would likewise be assets to SMU. But a partisan policy institute associated with this administration and with zero oversight by the university should be rejected out of hand by SMU, the Methodist Church, and SMU's stakeholders - faculty, alumni, etc. The Bush administration should not get to use SMU's good name to further their cause.

The rest of the country is ready to move on from this administration. Are we going to be stuck with him here forever?

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