Dispatch from Academe


Reader Dave Lull informs us that the essayist Richard Rodriguez, previously scheduled to address the California State University East Bay commencement, has withdrawn from the program. Students and professors offended by his opposition to affirmative action and bilingual education had threatened a boycott; one prof told the San Francisco Chronicle that "We need to teach our students to be able to listen to diverse opinions, but they also need to be able to respond. As a commencement speaker, he gets free air time." That sounds like an argument against any commencement address to me, but perhaps there's some subtlety here that I'm missing.

From the Chronicle's account, you might get the impression that Rodriguez is a conventional conservative. His views are actually more interesting than that, as you can see in this Reason interview from 1994.