Monday, November 26, 2007

Government Control and Private Colleges

In a recent interview with the Dartmouth Review, Ward Connerly proclaimed: "If the government has forbidden itself from discriminating, then Dartmouth, if it’s getting government money, should be equally forbidden as well." Although Connerly claims to follow libertarian principles, this is a serious threat to both individual liberty and institutional autonomy (I refuse to use the nonexistent term "institutional academic freedom." Apart from the issue of whether affirmative action is discrimination (it's not), the government should not intrude in the dealings of private colleges simply because the college is hired to provide some services. Are all private companies that sell as much as a paperclip to a government agency therefore compelled to follow all the rules of the government under the Bill of Rights? No, and they shouldn't be. This was the fundamental error in FAIR v. Rumsfeld, and it threatens the autonomy of all private property.

No comments: