The ANU has form

There are several pieces in the Australian this morning having a go at the ANU.  I have thoughts on the matter that I’m hoping to share over the next few days or so, but in the meantime I just want to remind everyone that this isn’t an isolated incident.

The Australian National University’s decision to adopt socially responsible investment criteria for managing its $1 billion investment portfolio has sparked quite a row. An increasingly frank exchange of views between the ANU and its critics has played out in the pages of the Fairfax publication The Australian Financial Review.

That’s from a few years ago when the ANU trashed the corporate reputations of Australian firms. As I said at the time:

Perhaps the ANU senior management thought it is self-evident that business would cause social harm. Perhaps they have bought into the notion that fossil fuel producers, and other resource companies, have become “a rogue industry” that should be shunned. With such a world-view perhaps it is unsurprising that they didn’t bother to double-check when their suspicions were confirmed by what appears to be shoddy research.

The ANU, to my mind, is doing exactly the same thing now. As we read in the Australian this morning:

The historian and author said he took “no pleasure in the outcome” given he and many of his colleagues had supported the Ramsay Centre’s proposal to fund a degree in Western civilisation at the university, as well as an extensive scholarship program.

“On the other hand, Tony Abbott’s aggressive article in the April issue of Quadrant [in which he described the Ramsay Centre as being “not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it”] had a devastating effect on the attitude of all of us who had been supporting the proposal.”

The ANU clearly expected to be paid to teach a program that was critical of western civilisation. Looks to me that the Ramsay Centre has just saved itself a lot of money.

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17 Responses to The ANU has form

  1. stackja

    ANU achieves what with the tax funding it receives?

  2. thefrollickingmole

    Reading the Guardian version of this story the revolt was from the teaching staff who were shocked and offended the western designed/maintained & structured universities they taught at would teach that perhaps not all cultures are equal.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/06/university-explains-why-it-walked-away-from-grant-for-western-civilisation-degree

    In a letter sent by the president of the ANU branch of the NTEU, Matthew King, to the vice-chancellor a week before the decision to withdraw from negotiations, the union said it held “grave concerns” about the degree.

    King wrote that Abbott’s article suggested the course would “pursue a narrow, radically conservative program to demonstrate and promulgate the alleged superiority of western culture and civilisation”.

    He said the union was concerned the Ramsay Centre would “wield considerable influence over staffing and curriculum decisions”.

    After the university pulled out of the negotiations, Howard wrote a letter in which he said the Ramsay Centre had “fully endorsed the principles of academic autonomy” and accused the university of bowing to pressure from the union.

    He told the Australian that negotiations had gone “very well indeed and then the academics’ union got involved”.

    Ready for some Bull- Schmidt

    But in his statement on Tuesday, Schmidt said the university had “approached the opportunity offered by the Ramsay Centre in a positive and open spirit” before deciding to pull out of the deal over concerns about academic integrity.

    “In all cases, we retain, without compromise, our academic integrity, autonomy and freedom, and ensure that any program has academic merit consistent with our status as one of the world’s great universities,” he said.

    “These core principles drive our research excellence and are key to our outstanding global reputation.”

    He also hit back at reporting in the Australian on Tuesday which criticised the university’s decision to accept $2m each from Dubai, Iran and Turkey for a centre for Arab and Islamic studies.

    “I’m disappointed to see that our globally renowned centre for Arab and Islamic studies has been singled out today,” he said.

    “The centre is an important national institution that has received bipartisan support since its establishment. It makes a significant contribution to Australian knowledge of regional challenges and issues in the Muslim Middle East and central Asia, including providing training to many of our federal government departments interested in the region.

    “ANU centres have received donations from a range of countries in addition to funds from government and industry. In all cases, ANU retains control of both curriculum and staffing decisions.”

  3. A Lurker

    The ANU clearly expected to be paid to teach a program that was critical of western civilisation.

    Of course. That was to be expected.

    Meanwhile, an article in yesterday’s Australian newspaper reveals that the foreign governments of Iran, Dubai and Turkey have given the ANU up to $2million dollars each. We have also learned that there is a Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies at the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences, and also there is a China Institute at the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

    So given that not only Marxists embedded within the ANU are virulently against the promotion of Western Civilization, and it is highly likely that Chinese and Islamic ideologies would rather their own viewpoints be promoted over that of Western Civilization; well, ANU’s decision is not entirely unexpected.

    After all, remember the adage “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”
    Q. Just how much influence can a few cool million $$$ buy at ANU? I reckon, quite a lot.

    Now given the generous foreign donations flooding into the ANU, an argument could be raised that taxpayer funding should immediately cease to that University – and in fact should cease to all Australian universities that not only accept significant sums of money from foreign governments and individuals, but also refuse to teach a balanced program in Western Civilization, and also erode freedom of speech.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    I love that the revolting academics caused the whole thing to be canned, but because that would be bad messaging they’ve blamed a very convenient but obscure article by Abbott666.

    Transparent much!

  5. Kneel

    “I’m disappointed to see that our globally renowned centre for Arab and Islamic studies has been singled out today,”

    And I am disappointed that our Universities are happy to teach students about a foreign culture, but are not prepared to teach our own.

    No, not diappointed, outraged

  6. Tombell

    When will someone have the balls to start defunding these public teat dwellers?

  7. Roger

    “In all cases, ANU retains control of both curriculum and staffing decisions.”

    That’s the problem.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    A billion dollar investment portfolio ,another source of government money, looting universities investment portfolios of the taxpayers money in them . They can use that after they finish looting the peoples superannuation ,not their own of course.

  9. Howard Hill

    When will someone have the balls to start defunding these public teat dwellers?

    When the public grows some balls and stops paying tax.

  10. egg_

    “I’m disappointed to see that our globally renowned centre for Arab and Islamic studies has been singled out today,”

    Sh1tholes 101?

  11. Boambee John

    Lurker at 1201

    So given that not only Marxists embedded within the ANU are virulently against the promotion of Western Civilization, and it is highly likely that Chinese and Islamic ideologies would rather their own viewpoints be promoted over that of Western Civilization; well, ANU’s decision is not entirely unexpected.

    Like many academics in the social ‘sciences’, the ANU Marxists hate the rest of Australian society for not giving the respect that they think they deserve. They support incompatible cultures like Islam and communism as a means of taking revenge on those members of society who have so disappointed them (they are horrified that a plumber or an electrician might earn more that an academic is paid).

    J’ismists and the commentariat have the same contempt for mainstream society. That they would lose status under an Islamic or communist society is less important to them than that the ungrateful ‘deplorables’ should have their lives ruined by one.

    They are happy to cut off their noses to spite their faces.

  12. Boambee John

    giving them the respect

  13. Rohan

    If they refuse to accept this new funding, and are obviously adverse to energy and minerals, then their budget should be shrunk by the same proportion that the government receives GST/corporate tax etc from this economic sector, as a % of total tax receipts. This way, these Marxist cretins can continue their good work with clear and virtuous conscience.

    All those in favour say I…

  14. JohnJJJ

    Of course the Western culture is superior. Otherwise there would be no ANU, no academics, no professors, no unions to argue the bleeding obvious. We all be sitting around a fire chewing burnt ‘roo – if we’d be alive at all.

  15. Mother Lode

    pursue a narrow, radically conservative program to demonstrate and promulgate the alleged superiority of western culture and civilisation

    Radical? It was accepted as axiomatically true for centuries (and still is by the great unwashed). And other nations have striven to mimic it to the extent their resident political elites have been prepared to relinquish customs that keep them empowered.

    The relativistic view – that all cultures are equal – is the new one. And only mooted in one culture where new ideas are encouraged. If these weasels insist on believing themselves superior, and if they believe that we are social constructs, then they must accept that Western society produces ‘better’ results.

  16. manalive

    O’Sullivan’s First Law or Conquest’s Second Lawn: “Any institution that is not explicitly and constitutionally right wing will sooner or later become left wing”.
    The US Study Centre at Sydney University set up by Howard was hijacked by the Left.

  17. Boambee John

    The US Study Centre at Sydney University set up by Howard was hijacked by the Left.

    This is why the Ramsay Centre should NOT be at any of the established universities, particularly any of the Group of Eight.

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