It’s funny how some of these things link together– or maybe how I make links between them:
While browsing my google reader feed this morning, I came across this article from Inside Higher Ed, “Ward Churchill Fired.” Old news, but basically Churchill was let go by the University of Colorado because (officially, at least) because of what has been called “overwhelming evidence” of scholarly misconduct. When this case was still an issue, I wrote on my blog and on the Inside Higher Ed site that Churchill shouldn’t be fired because of some unpopular views on 9/11. But when it turns out that he was cheating in his scholarship, well, that’s a different story. Still, I think this paragraph sort of sums up my feelings about the whole thing:
The meaning of the Churchill case has been heatedly debated over the past two-plus years. To Churchill and his defenders, he is a victim of politics and of a right wing attack on freedom of thought. To Brown and others at the university, Churchillâ€™s case is not about politics at all about enforcing academic integrity and punishing those who donâ€™t live up to basic rules of research honesty. To many others in academe, the Churchill case has been less clearcut. Many academics have said that they are troubled by both the findings of research misconduct against Churchill and by the reality that his work received intense scrutiny only after his political views drew attention to him.
This article lead me to this interesting blog post by Aaron Barlow on a blog that I will probably add to my feed reading called Free Exchange on Campus. Barlow’s post is trying to parse through the meaning of the Churchill case in complex terms so I won’t try to simplify it here, but I admire his efforts of trying to sort it out.
Anyway, reading Barlow’s post lead me to another post on the Free Exchange on Campus blog that lead me to this, “University Publishing in A Digital Age,” on another site I ought to add to the feed, Ithaka, which is site about promoting “the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education worldwide.” Here’s the abstract of this piece:
Scholars have a vast range of opportunities to distribute their work, from setting up web pages or blogs, to posting articles to working paper websites or institutional repositories, to including them in peer-reviewed journals or books. In American colleges and universities, access to the internet and World Wide Web is ubiquitous; consequently nearly all intellectual effort results in some form of â€œpublishingâ€�. Yet universities do not treat this function as an important, mission-centric endeavor. The result has been a scholarly publishing industry that many in the university community find to be increasingly out of step with the important values of the academy.
This paper argues that a renewed commitment to publishing in its broadest sense can enable universities to more fully realize the potential global impact of their academic programs, enhance the reputations of their institutions, maintain a strong voice in determining what constitutes important scholarship, and in some cases reduce costs.
I haven’t had a chance to read the full report yet, though I kind of wish it had come out a few weeks/months ago. Forthcoming in Kairos is going to be “Version 2.0” of an article I had originally had published in College Composition and Communication Online, “Where Do I list this on my CV? Considering the Value of Self-Published Web Sites.” Had I known about this Ithaka report earlier, some of what’s in the abstract here might have been good to incorporate in this revised article. Oh well; at least my thinking now and in 2002 are in line with some others.