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a reputation at risk

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 23, 2008

Get this. Some University of Chicago faculty smell heresy in the air. They're having none of it:

Few names are more associated with the University of Chicago than Milton Friedman's.

But that's exactly the problem, say some faculty who want to put the brakes on a plan to name a new research center after the Nobel Prize-winning economist.

In a letter to U. of C. President Robert Zimmer, 101 professors -- about 8 percent of the university's full-time faculty -- said they feared that having a center named after the conservative, free-market economist could "reinforce among the public a perception that the university's faculty lacks intellectual and ideological diversity."

Harvard's Harvey Mansfield sardonically remarked, "Diversity means a fellow Leftist in a skirt." It takes a numbingly partisan humorlessness to maintain that suppression of Milton Friedman's name on a building would enhance the university's reputation for openness. Yet Friedman himself would admit that the obtuseness of the Liberal Inquisition, combined with its unlovely fondness for compulsion, must serve its adversaries' interests in the long run.

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