Bush Partisan Institute

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    The President and Trustees of Southern Methodist University
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    Concerned Faculty Members of SMU
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INVITATION TO SIGN

The "Open Letter Regarding the Bush Partisan Institute" welcomes signatures from the following stakeholders at Southern Methodist University: faculty members (current, retired, full-time, adjunct), researchers, professional and para-professional staff members, and administrators. If you wish to update yourself on issues pertaining to the prospective George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum, or Institute, please consult the following website for a full array of reference materials: http://www.bushlibraryblog.wordpress.com. At the end of this website you will find a list of resources on the planned institute. The following Open Letter pertains to the partisan institute only.



REGARDING THE BUSH PARTISAN INSTITUTE:
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND TRUSTEES
OF SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY

We, the undersigned, object to the proposal that a partisan institute be established on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in connection with the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

A partisan think tank located at any school, college, or university is contradictory to education as approached within a free and democratic society. The precedent set by it would put the values of open inquiry and academic freedom at risk not only for SMU but also for all academic institutions.

Because of the inherent incompatibility, we believe SMU and the institute would enjoy a more appropriate and mutually beneficial relationship if the two institutions were completely independent, and if the institute were not located on the SMU campus.

President Bush publicly has stated that his institute will address and promote policy initiatives begun during his White House years. Because the director of the institute would, therefore, necessarily need to hire fellows on the basis of their willingness to support a partisan research agenda, open inquiry and academic integrity could very well be compromised, no matter how competent the researchers and scholars might be.

Inevitably, the institute will be among the platforms from which George W. Bush continues his public and political life, both in the U.S. and abroad, after he leaves the White House. In this light, it is not entirely accurate for SMU to say that 'when the President is in office, all is political; when he leaves office, all is historical.' Political dynamics ineluctably will shape the work of the institute.

Despite the insistence of the Bush Library Committee to the contrary, there is no valid reason, academic or otherwise, why the library and institute should be said to rise or fall together, or the institute considered as an inseparable unit.

We do not agree with contentions of SMU administrators and trustees that positive benefits of the all-in-one package would outweigh the negative drawbacks likely to accrue to SMU. Each component of the proposed package must be evaluated on its own distinct academic merits. Each component must be measured against its capacity to support the academic mission of SMU.

We fully support President Bush's request for an autonomous policy institute that is completely independent from and unanswerable to SMU, and believe that SMU should grant this wish and the logical implications thereof.

Hence, the Bush institute should be completely separate from SMU. That is, no institutional, academic, administrative, economic, or legal arrangements should exist between the institute and SMU, such as joint or concurrent faculty appointments, administrative oversight, board membership, lease of land, co-mingling of funds, and so on. The relationship between the two institutions would most properly be informal, and would include, for instance, freedom for SMU faculty to apply for institute fellowships, for SMU departments to hire institute fellows as adjunct faculty members, and for SMU members to partake of institute offerings and vice versa.

The Bush institute, moreover, should not be built on the SMU campus or contiguous with the library and museum. This means that even if SMU were to sell rather than to lease land to the Bush Foundation, the institute should be geographically separate from the library and museum.

The Bush Foundation should be legally barred from interpreting the institute as SMU-based, or as related to Southern Methodist University in any official way.

By being released from any and all administrative encumbrances imposed by SMU, both the institute and the university will be free to flourish in their own chosen directions, and to fulfill their respective missions.

Mutual autonomy will allow Southern Methodist University to continue to enjoy utmost respect and credibility in the eyes of the academy in the U.S. and around the globe, and to maintain the integrity of its academic mission and values.

We, the undersigned, herewith say a resounding "no" to locating a partisan institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University or of any other university and "no" to affixing any joint institutional relationship whatsoever between two such distinctive institutions.



CHARTER SIGNATORIES

Schubert M. Ogden
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theology
Perkins School of Theology

C.W. Smith
2006 Dedman Family Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Dedman College

Joseph L. Allen
Professor Emeritus of Ethics
Perkins School of Theology

Annemarie Weyl Carr
University Distinguished Professor of Art History
Meadows School of the Arts

Will Finnin, Jr., Th.D.
Chaplain and Minister to the University

Richard Haberman
Professor of Mathematics
Dedman College

Joerg Rieger
Professor of Systematic Theology
Perkins School of Theology

Dr. Alessandra Comini
University Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History
Meadows School of the Arts

Victor Paul Furnish
University Distinguished Professor Emeritus
of New Testament
Perkins School of Theology

Dr. Peter A Heslin
Assistant Professor
Management and Organizations
Cox School of Business

William K. McElvaney
Professor Emeritus
of Preaching and Worship
Perkins School of Theology

Alejandro F. Botta
Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible
Perkins School of Theology

Dr. David J. Wilson
Department of Anthropology
Dedman College

Pamela A. Patton
Associate Professor of Art History
Dedman College

Valerie Karras
Assistant Professor of Church History
Perkins School of Theology

Kathi Fisher Watts
Director of Graduate Liberal Studies
School of Education and Human Development

John C. Holbert
Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics
Perkins School of Theology

Noah Simblist
Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing
Dedman College

Richard R. Bozorth
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

Mary K. Jackman, Ph.D.
Lecturer in Rhetoric
Department of English
Dedman College

Susanne Johnson
Associate Professor of Christian Education
Perkins School of Theology

Steven Daniels
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

Alexis McCrossen
Associate Professor
Clements Department of History
Dedman College

Dennis Foster
Professor of English
Dedman College

Marjorie Procter-Smith
LeVan Professor of Christian Worship
Perkins School of Theology

Bill Beauchamp
Associate Professor of French
Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor
Dedman College

John R. Harris, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Department of Philosophy
Dedman College

Theodore Walker, Jr.
Associate Professor of Ethics and Society
Perkins School of Theology

Tom Stone
Senior Lecturer
Department of English
Dedman College

Olga Colbert
Associate Professor of Spanish
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dedman College

C. Garth Sampson
Professor of Anthropology
Dedman College

Kent Hornbostel
Associate Professor
Department of Physics
Dedman College

Simon Sargon
Professor of Music Composition
Meadows School of the Arts

Beth Newman
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

Adam Herring
Associate Professor and Director
Comini Lecture Series in Art History
Meadows School of the Arts

Joseph B. Tyson
Professor emeritus of Religious Studies
Dedman College

Nina Schwartz
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

Charles M. Wood
Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine
Perkins School of Theology

David B. Hausman
Professor of Philosophy
Dedman College

Luis Maldonado
Assistant Professor of Latin American Literatures
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dedman College

G. William Barnard
University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Religious Studies Department
Dedman College

Carolyn Maccartney
Assistant Professor
Division of Cinema Television
Meadows School of the Arts

Marie-Luise Gaettens
Associate Professor of German
Chair, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dedman College

Kevin Heffernan
Associate Professor
Division of Cinema-Television
Meadows School of the Arts

Sean Griffin
Associate Professor
Division of Cinema-Television
Meadows School of the Arts

Leslie Brott
Assistant Professor of Theatre
Meadows School of the Arts

John Wise, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Dedman Life Sciences

Susana Adoboe
Lecturer in Spanish
Dedman College

Thomas R. Arp
Professor of English
Dedman College

Rajani Sudan
Associate Professor
Department of English
Dedman College

Laurence Scholder
Professor of Printmaking
Meadows School of the Arts

Mary Vernon
Professor of Art
Meadows School of the Arts

Ken Springer
Associate Professor
Center for Teacher Education
School of Education and Human Development

Professor George Henson
Lecturer of Spanish
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dedman College

Pia D. Vogel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Science
Dedman College

Campbell B. Read
Professor Emeritus of Statistical Science
Dedman College

Richard Cogley
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Dedman College

Jean Cherry
Graduate Office
Meadows School of the Arts

Jean Kazez
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Philosophy Department
Dedman College

Charles R. Baker
Bridwell Library
Perkins School of Theology

Johan Elverskog
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Dedman College

Alan R. Bromberg
University Distinguished Professor of Law
Dedman College

Barnaby Fitzgerlad
Professor of Painting and Drawing
Division of Art
Dedman College

Shubha Ghosh
Professor of Law
SMU Dedman School of Law

Peter Beasecker
Associate Professor of Art
Dedman College

Charissa N. Terranova
Assistant Professor of Art History
Division of Art History
Meadows School of the Arts

John E. Ubelaker
Professor of Biological Sciences
Dedman College

James Waddle
Assistant Professor of Biology
Dedman College

Claudia Stephens
Associate Professor of Theatre
Meadows School of the Arts

Gordon Birrell
Associate Professor of German
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Dedman College

Janis Bergman-Carton
Associate Professor of Art History
Dedman College

Steven B. Vik
Professor of Biological Sciences
Dedman College

Carolyn Channell
Senior Lecturer
English Department
Dedman College

Donald L. Niewyk
Professor of History
Dedman College

J. Michael Cruz, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Sociology and Advisor
Markets and Culture
Dedman College

Larry Ruben
Professor of Biological Science
Dedman College

Richard S. Jones
Professor of Biological Sciences
Dedman College

Darryl Dickson-Carr
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

James Zeigler
Visiting Frensley Assistant Professor
Department of English
Dedman College

Michael Householder
Assistant Professor of English
Dedman College

Dennis Cordell
Professor
Department of History
Dedman College

Monica Cable, Ph. D.
Department of Anthropology
Dedman College

Steven Weisenburger
Professor of English
Dedman College

Robert Vega
Associate Professor
Department of Physics
Dedman College

William C. Orr, Ph. D.
Department of Biological Sciences
Dedman College

George Wolf Crawford
Professor Emeritus of Physics
Dedman College

Timothy Seelig, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor (Adjunct)
Division of Music
Meadows School of the Arts

Dr. Krish Pillai
Assistant Professor
Business and Computing Technologies
SMU School of Engineering

Jim Collins
Information Technology & Operations Management
Cox School of Business

Darwin Payne
Professor Emeritus of Communications
Meadows School of the Arts

Robert J. Howell
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Dedman College

Pontip Vattakavanich
ECO Staff
Dedman College

Rajat Deb
Professor of Economics
Dedman College

Dr. Harold A. Knight
Lecturer in Rhetoric
Department of English
Dedman College

David Haynes
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College

Dr. Stanley J. Menking
Associate Dean - Emeritus
Perkins School of Theology

Kathryn Canterbury
Manager
Institute for Reading Research
School of Education and Human Development

Laura Justiss
Underwood Law Library
SMU Dedman School of Law

David G. Black
Underwood Law Library
SMU Dedman School of Law

Wanda W. Smith
Bridwell Library (retired)
Perkins School of Theology

David Freidel
University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
Dedman College

Lynne Stokes
Professor of Statistical Science
Dedman Colleage

Eric White, Ph.D.
Bridwell Library
Perkins School of Theology

Clayton Littlejohn, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Department of Philosophy
Dedman College

Lee Gibson
Faculty Coordinator
Darrell and Jo Anne Lafitte Writing Center

Monty Evans, Ph.D.
Adjunct Lecturer in Psychology
Associate Program Direction
Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology
University of Texas Southwestern

Paul Garner
Adjunct Professor of Music
Meadows School of the Arts

Crista DeLuzio
Assistant Professor of History
Dedman College

May Foreman
Acquisitions Manager
Underwood Law Library

Nathan Montoya
Associate Professor
Division of Dance
Meadows School of the Arts

Ashley ONeill
Adjunct Lecturer
First Year Writing Program

Carolyn Smith-Morris
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Dedman College

Peter Bakewell
Kahn Professor of History
Dedman College

Gloria S. Beazley
Assistant Director
Geophysics Research Program
Geological Sciences
Dedman College

Bill Schucany
Professor of Statistical Science
Dedman College

Birdie Barr, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Wellness
Wellness Department

Randall C. Griffin, Ph.D.
Chair of Art History & Associate Professor
Meadows School of the Arts

George M. Atkinson
Professor of Ministerial Studies Emeritus
Director of Houston-Galveston Program Emeritus
Perkins School of Theology

Sandra Mitchell Obregon
Associate Director, Continuing Education
Perkins School of Theology

Bonnie Wheeler
Associate Professor of English
Dedman College



FOR FURTHER REFERENCE: THE BUSH PARTISAN INSTITUTE

A preview of a partisan presidential think tank
Andrew Weaver, Ph.D., SMU Daily Campus, March 30, 2007

Archives of Spin
http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/34127.html
Dr. Benjamin Hufbauer, History News Network (reprint from New York Times, January 20, 2007)

A gulf between institutions
Dr. Schubert Ogden, SMU Daily Campus, March 2, 2007

Protest as affirmation of SMU's future
Professor William K. McElvaney, SMU Daily Campus, February 22, 2007

Those articles of incorporation: An Inconvenient Truth
Dr. Susanne Johnson, SMU Daily Campus, March 20, 2007

The Bush presidency's disconnect with the UMC
The Reverend Fred Kandeler, D.D., SMU Daily Campus, March 6, 2007

A major partisan institute is a major miscalculation
Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion: Viewpoints
Dr. Benjamin Hufbauer, Dallas Morning News, February 5, 2007

Focusing the discussion on the Bush Institute, NOT the Library
Dr. Janis Bergman; Dr. David A. Freidel; Dr. Valerie A. Karras, Southern Methodist University, SMU Daily Campus, January 19, 2007

Not too late to compromise on the Bush institute
Dr. Susanne Johnson, Southern Methodist University, Dallas Morning News, Jan 24, 2007

A room of his own: George Bush Wants his Library to Propound his Message
The Economist, March 15, 2007

Institute will put SMU's science programs at risk
Dr. Campbell Read, Southern Methodist University, SMU Daily Campus, February 22, 2007

Nebraska History Professor Weighs in on SMUs Reputation and the Bush Complex
Professor Andrew R. Graybill, Lincoln, Nebraska; The Bush Library Blog

Intellectual 'best practices'
Dr. Steve Sverdlik, Southern Methodist University, SMU Daily Campus, February 14, 2007

Letter to the Editor
Professor Michael Foster, University of North Carolina, SMU Daily Campus, February 13, 2007

Should SMU accept the Bush Library?
Dr. David Greenberg, Rutgers University, MSN Slate, January 31, 2007

Letter to the Editor
Beth Resler Walters, SMU Daily Campus, February 7, 2007

Presidential Order 13233 and the purpose of Presidential Libraries
Signed by all members of the SMU History Department, SMU Daily Campus, February 8, 2007

The George W. Bush Library: Scholarly Mecca or $500 Million ...
Dorothy Samuels, NYT Editorial Desk, New York Times, January 28, 2007

Can we change the topic of conversation, please?
Dr. Susanne Johnson, Southern Methodist University, SMU Daily Campus, January 23, 2007

W library in record book: $500M center would be priciest for a Prez
Thomas M. DeFrank, Daily News Washington Bureau Chief

Scholarly Archive or Ideological Center?
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, December 18, 2006

Dubya's Tower of Babel
Bill Berkowitz, Media Transparency, January 10, 2007

S.M.U. Faculty Complains About Bush Library Plan
Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, January 9, 2007

A Discordant Chorus Questions Visions for a Bush Library at Southern Methodist
Ralph Blumenthal, New York Times, January 13, 2007

The Bush think tank: A giant Trojan horse among the ponies?
Dr. Andrew Weaver; Dr. George Crawford, SMU Daily Campus, January 18, 2007

Trustees should follow lead of First Lady
Bishop C. Joseph Sprague; Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks; Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel; Dr. Andrew J. Weaver, SMU Daily Campus, February 27, 2007

Open Letter regarding the Bush Institute: Background Rationale
C:\Users\owner\Documents\Updater5\Desktop\BACKGROUND RATIONALE Open Letter.htm
Dr. Susanne Johnson, Faculty email correspondence, March 27, 2007