Charles Murray, the controversial conservative writer best known for The Bell Curve, is accusing Azusa Pacific University of lacking the courage to bring him to campus. He was scheduled to appear today, and was called and told not to come. In an open letter to Azusa Pacific's students, Murray suggested that fear of controversy was behind the decision. He questioned the stated reason -- that it is late in the semester -- given that Murray said the visit has been planned for some time. He urged students to make up their own minds about him. "You’re at college, right? Being at college is supposed to mean thinking for yourselves, right?," Murray wrote. "OK, then do it. Don’t be satisfied with links to websites that specialize in libeling people. Lose the secondary sources. Explore for yourself the “full range” of my scholarship and find out what it is that I’ve written or said that would hurt your faculty or students of color. It’s not hard."
The university released a statement from Jon Wallace, the president: "Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation. We want to host robust discussions. We have a long history of being in the middle of conversations that matter, but those take time and careful planning. As we value open discourse and varying viewpoints, we do so not merely for freedom’s sake, but for Jesus’ sake. Our approach to all topics must be in light of a biblical worldview. In doing so, we strive to model civic virtue for our campus community and encourage spiritual unity in Christ. We look forward to an opportunity to gather around the table for thoughtful and meaningful dialogue with Dr. Murray in the 2014–15 academic year."
Opinions on Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U
What Others Are Reading