U of R Professor Under Fire by University President
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"I was very surprised by it," Steven Landsburg said.
Strong emotions from Landsburg, an economics professor at the University of Rochester.
Landsburg is responding to the criticism he received from the university's president, Joel Seligman. Criticism about a series of blogs Landsburg posted to his personal blog site, supporting comments by conservative talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, that sparked national controversy.
"What I said on my blog was that people who want to see birth control subsidized or people who want to see anything subsidized should make arguments for it," he said.
Landsburg said he felt as though he had to respond to the debate surrounding Limbaugh and Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke.
Fluke was called a derogatory name and "prostitute" by Limbaugh, after testifying about birth control funding under her college health plan.
Though Landsburg does not agree with the harsh language, he does feel as though Fluke should have provided a better argument.
Landsburg said, "I was very critical of this woman, Sandra Fluke, for not making any arguments at all. For basically just saying that birth control is expensive for her, so she wants somebody else to pay for it."
In the blog, Landsburg expresses that Fluke failed to make a respectful argument, and goes on to say that it deserves only to be ridiculed, mocked, and jeered. He also says, 'to treat it with respect would be a travesty'.
President Seligman openly criticized his faculty member and issued a statement against the blogs, Wednesday.
He said, "I am outraged that any professor would demean a student in this fashion. To openly ridicule, mock, or jeer a student in this way is about the most offensive thing a professor can do. We are here to educate, to nurture, to inspire, not to engage in character assassination."
Seligman did say that Landsburg, and any student at the college, have every right to express themselves freely.
But Landsburg says he does not necessarily feel that way.
"It seems to me that this is what we're all about at the university, at any university. We want to encourage people to actually make arguments, give reasons for the things they want to see. That's what I said. I'm amazed that the president of the university disagrees with that."
Landburg responded to Seligman in his blog Thursday morning saying in part:
Dear President Seligman, "I do appreciate your right to express your views, but I don’t think you have a right to misrepresent mine."