Roger Pielke, Jr., is an environmental scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He recently encountered two messages from the University Chancellor, Bud Peterson, that have left him very confused.
The first message was an email from the Chancellor to UC faculty warning them not to engage in any political advocacy during this campaign season.
The second message was an announcement that Chancellor Peterson will be the keynote speaker at a program conducted by “Focus the Nation,” a non-profit group that nevertheless is deeply involved in promoting policies dealing with climate change.
As Pielke notes, that’s a very puzzling mix of messages.
I am so confused.
Focus the Nation is unadulterated political advocacy. But my campus forbids me to use my official time, paid for by taxpayers, to advocate for particular campaign issues. But global warming is so important. But my Chancellor forbids me to engage in political advocacy as part of my job. But my Chancellor is the keynote speaker for our Focus the Nation activities. But my job is to teach not indoctrinate. But I actually agree with many of the proposed policies. But it is not my job to use my platform as a professor to tell students what to think; I am supposed to teach them how to think and come to their own conclusions. But if I don’t go along I’ll be castigated as one of those bad guys, like a Holocaust denier or slave owner. But doing the right thing is so obvious.
It’s almost like there’s a double-standard or something, huh? Ya think?