Southern Methodist University faculty voice concerns about Bush presidential library

Published: Tuesday January 9, 2007
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The New York Times' Ralph Blumenthal is penning a piece for Wednesday's Times which reveals that Southern Methodist University is trying to "allay concerns that pro-Bush politics" will infiltrate the school.

"Mindful of reports that President Bush wants a conservative think tank with his presidential library, Southern Methodist University's top official is trying to allay concerns that pro-Bush politics might spread through campus," Blumenthal writes.

"Last month, SMU was named the sole finalist by the selection committee exploring possible sites for the library in Texas," he adds.

Excerpts from the article follow...


Intimates of President Bush have singled out Southern Methodist University as the likely site of his presidential library, but faculty members, complaining of being bypassed, are raising sharp questions about the school's identification with his presidency.

In hastily called meeting Tuesday, faculty members complained of a lack of consultation over the emerging agreement and all but demanded answers from the university's president, R. Gerald Turner, on the relationship that would develop between the university and the library.

"There's been a lack of transparency from the beginning," said Tony Pederson of the journalism faculty, urging the university's administration "to be more forthcoming with detailed information."

Cal Jillson, a political science professor, also called for "more rounded information" because, he said, "this train is leaving." He said there could be a final decision on the library before the end of the month.