Sunday, August 24, 2008

This stinks, and UIC looks bad

Global Labor and Politics: Obama/Ayers Update: Annenberg Mystery Tour Continues: "In sum, the CAC records at UIC were more than likely in the valid possession of UIC when Dr. Kurtz asked to review them. No alarm bell should have been set off and he should have been allowed to review them freely and without hindrance. The University has now increased public uncertainty by refusing to disclose all of the relevant facts that surround this controversy. Until they do so, doubts will remain over whether the CAC collection is complete."
Steve Diamond (law professor and political scientist) presents circumstantial evidence suggesting that things may have unfolded like this: somebody in the UIC library realized that an Obama critic had been given permission to see the records, and contacted somebody outside the library, at which point alarm bells were raised, and then a bogus excuse concocted in order to delay while the records were purged of damaging material.

I do not know what happened. I do know this, though. UIC is being portrayed on a national stage in the worst light imaginable for an academic institution. National Review is a major publication with resources and connections, and they will not let go of this. We are looking at three months of bad press if this isn't dealt with.

There is only one way to redeem UIC's reputation: full disclosure of the entire chain of communication and details of all actions taken from the time Kurtz first inquired to the present. If there was any tampering with the records, that has to be fully disclosed and the responsible parties identified.

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