The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The Worst Professor in America

February 24, 2006

It appears as if the Horowitz crowd is conducting an on-line straw poll to identify the “worst” of the 101 most dangerous professors in America.

So far, the results are not encouraging for the IR competitors:

Professor School Votes
Michael Bérubé Penn State University 150931
[skip dozens of names]
Ali al-Mazrui SUNY,Binghamton 79
[skip another dozen names or so]
Matthew Evangelista Cornell University 19
Richard Falk Princeton University 16
Lisa Anderson Columbia University 16

Even if all the IR professors put their votes together in some kind of grand alliance, they would be relatively powerless against the hegemonic Bérubé.

John Bellamy Foster of the University of Oregon is in second with 78K votes at this writing. He’s a sociologist with global concerns, so the IR types obviously need to bring him into the alliance. The third highest vote recipient has only 26K, historian Eric Foner of Columbia.

Oh, this may seem obvious, but given that Bérubé wants to win, I’d guess that most of his votes are from people on the left answering his call to arms.

They’re bandwagoning!

Thus, to answer Dan’s question, it appears as if many scholars consider this a non-serious threat to the academy.

Oz makes some good points, however, and I agree that

The only acceptable stance for academia is united solidarity against those who would threaten its integrity from the outside.

OTOH, it looks like the solidarity is being expressed in the voting!

Hat tip to Rob at LGM.

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.