In many academic circles, being attacked by Bill O'Reilly might be a badge of honor. A Syracuse University professor, however, charges that he was denied tenure last week in part because of the fallout over his on-air disputes with the Fox television star, who has branded him "a new Ward Churchill."
A judge ruled last week in Colorado that not only is tenure a good thing for the professors who enjoy it, it is valuable to the public. Further, the court ruled that the value (to the public) of tenure outweighed the value of giving colleges flexibility in hiring and dismissing. That is a principle that faculty members say is very important and makes this case about much more than the specific issues at play.