Education: Professors and Politics

What ever happened to academic conventions where the loudest sound was the rustle of learned papers? Nowadays, scholars stage annual shouting matches at which young professors of the New Left cry for "relevance" while those over 30 feel like 60. The radicals insist that the whole academic world must fight for social change. Old-guard teachers scent heresy—and more important, a disastrous politicization of scholarship.

The radical challenge surfaced dramatically last year at the Modern Language Association meeting in Manhattan (TIME, Jan. 10, 1969). Amid scuffles, the radicals rammed through a resolution condemning the Viet...

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