26 Feb 2008, 10:26pm
Forestry education Politics and politicians
by admin

Academic Freedom at OSU

This topic came up a couple of years ago when researchers with scientific integrity requested a delay in publishing a politically-motivated piece of second-rate research on salvage logging. Oh boy, did the academic freedom card get played! There were special emergency legislative hearings then, and all those who requested the delay were excoriated in the national press.

Now we have a case where our extreme left-wing pisspoor excuse for a Governor hounded a nationally recognized and respected researcher out of OSU. Didn’t merely request a delay in publishing a paper, but cost a great researcher his job! Is that of any interest to the academic freedom alarmists?

Are there any other academics who the Gov disapproves of? Do you have list, Stinky Ted? Can we see it? Will you be doing all the hiring and firing at OSU from now on?  What’s your political litmus test for employment at OSU?

Oh well, the subject is no longer hot, I guess. The constraint of academic freedom at OSU was a false alarm. It’s okay to screw the screws down when the academic in question is not PC. The knife doesn’t cut both ways, evidently. Fire at will, Teddy. OSU is yours to mold in your political image. The hysterics have crawled under their rocks, and the academic community is as silent as the dead.

1 Mar 2008, 10:06pm
by bear bait


Spotted Hal, the invertebrate Dean of Floristry at OS(u), got PCed to death by his politically pure brethern on the faculty when Newton et al. dished the incomplete science of the Bisquik Fire recovery. Plain and simple. Emeritus faculty was emasculated by Nervous Nellies who were protecting the academic freedom of a masters candidate to get a poor paper published, and it was published because it purported to stick a needle in the balloon of post fire logging.

Anyone, just anyone, who has owned a piece of timberland will know that you get seeds and seedlings annually as long as there is a seed source within miles. You can kill off all this year’s seedlings and more will take their place next year. I spray blueberry plants for weeds, and I am amazed at the number of doug fir, BL Maple, and Garry Oak seedlings that come up annually in the sawdust mulch of blueberry plants. That same thing is happening on farmlands and forest lands. Every year. The seeds don’t quit coming. Drive over them with a cat, and more will grow next year.

But the Donato paper did not know that because the kid is just to immature in field knowledge to know that. Academics overriding Practical Field Experience, theory over fact. Terrible bad deal for OS(u) CoF, but funny in its own way. All the super serious players, swatting balls in a game with no rules, but with conclusions just the same, is a showpiece of why Oregon needs to build a new asylum for the insane.

Mike, you have to forget the OS(u) Dept of Floristry exists. It is a corrupted deal. Lubchenko, sitting in the Valley Chair at Oceanography is calling the global warming shots, and that will consume the OS(u) CoFfers for the next decade, until their favorite measurement projects get snowed in for too long into summer. OS(u) is not going to lead anything or anybody anywhere in solving forest overstocking problems, and the gross changes in habitats and vegetative responses that come with everlasting conflagration.

There is a whole body of Art that concerns oils of California landscapes. And they all show the same savannah, albeit some do show eucalyptus trees now and then. The California Plein Air painters captured the results of frequent fire in those landscapes. The flowers, the oaks, the vast seas of grass. But that was then and this is now. People want “then” using “now” methods and theory that can’t get them there from here. I have no idea how to change their minds, how to show them alternatives to landscape fire, uncontrolled.

So I just go back to the old saw about the public being an ass. And it is. The public is an ass about public land, forests, fire, timber, land management, critter management, and practical solutions to any problem. The public is an ass.

I guess we live with the ass public, and their chaos by committee scheme of doing things. We adjust. Go sideways. Do whatever. But persevere. It is the least we can do. It might be the best we can do.

1 Mar 2008, 11:56pm
by Mike


There is a whole body of art that concerns heritage forests, savannas, stewardship, wildlife management, cultural/natural landscape restoration, and reconnecting humanity with one another and with the real world, so-called nature.

That’s what we do here. Art. There is a fair amount of Science transmitted, but the transmission is an art form.

My expectations have been greatly surpassed in that we, meaning all associated, have done it so well. But even though I am more than pleasantly surprised at our artistic successes, I think we can do even better.

We have the intellectual freedom that they have squandered and thrown away. That is why so many masterpieces grace this online institute. We have sundered the chains and given flight to better ideas. Our future is shining bright.

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