Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Our board members have a fiduciary responsibility to make the best decisions for the future of Randolph College as an educational institution."

Lee Rosenbaum has an update on the Randolph College deaccessioning dispute.  The latest is that the AAMD has written a stern letter confirming its censure of the school.

The stern letter does not explain why the AAMD's incoherent "ethical" rules should trump the interests of the college.  As lawprof Alan Feld put it recently:

"When a university rather than a museum owns artwork, ... the institutional calculus becomes more complex.  The university appropriately considers the educational value of the artworks, their relationship to the core educational mission, and the university's capacity to derive maximum educational utility from continued ownership of the work.  Other educational needs may deserve higher priority.  The public reaction to any proposed sale often fails to balance the school's multiple obligations."

It's as if, for financial reasons, a college restructures its sociology department, and the American Sociological Association steps in and "censures" the school, says it will no longer publish papers by its faculty, and so on.

Just who do these people think they are?