You have two choices this morning: You can read the Associated Press' piece about SMU profs softening their stance on the George Dubya Library, or you can go to my new favorite blog -- The Bush Library Blog, run by assistant professor of history Benjamin Johnson -- to get a first-hand accounting of how SMU prez Gerald Turner got them rabble-rousers to put down their rabble and stop being so 'roused. Me, I'm a bit disappointed that associate Christian-ed prof Susanne Johnson and retired theology prof William McElvaney could be so easily assuaged; after all, they're the authors of the pissed-off missive that started this debate in the first place. But now, looks like the folks who blamed the e-mail on the dog are tucking tails twixt legs.
"I think the library is not the offensive issue that the institute remains to be with a number of the faculty," McElvaney tells the AP. Guess all it took was a little gentle Turner-ing of the screws to put the profs in their place; writes a history prof on TBLB, "President Turner expressed his view that over time the library, museum, and institute would become less partisan in character. He also expressed the belief that research generated by an such an institute would in the long run have to reflect standards of good scholarship." And since it's an all-or-nothing deal -- you get the library and think tank or nada -- well, looks like the faculty's gonna start keeping its collective yaps shut.
From TBLB again: "While the meeting was at times intense, it was also polite and respectful Faculty were pleased with President Turner's willingness to address these concerns with them." Looks like they just wanted someone to pay attention to them; about what, apparently, it didn't much matter. --Robert Wilonsky
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