April 1, 2011

UW Chancellor Biddy Martin's message about professors' "zone of privacy" in email communication.

This is the general policy, stated on the occasion of the Wisconsin Republican Party's effort to delve into Prof. William Cronon's email related to the recent protests:
We are excluding exchanges that fall outside the realm of the faculty member's job responsibilities and that could be considered personal pursuant to Wisconsin Supreme Court case law. We are also excluding what we consider to be the private email exchanges among scholars that fall within the orbit of academic freedom and all that is entailed by it....

Scholars and scientists pursue knowledge by way of open intellectual exchange. Without a zone of privacy within which to conduct and protect their work, scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries....

When faculty members use email or any other medium to develop and share their thoughts with one another, they must be able to assume a right to the privacy of those exchanges, barring violations of state law or university policy....

This does not mean that scholars can be irresponsible in the use of state and university resources or the exercise of academic freedom. We have dutifully reviewed Professor Cronon's records for any legal or policy violations, such as improper uses of state or university resources for partisan political activity. There are none.

95 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

The conclusion here seems sound.

Kirby Olson said...

I hope they would find the same for a Republican professor, if there are any on the UW Madison faculty.

Trooper York said...

Boy he is a lot more reasonable than when he got in that fight with the marshmellow salesman.

MayBee said...

We have dutifully reviewed Professor Cronon's records for any legal or policy violations, such as improper uses of state or university resources for partisan political activity. There are none.

The use of the word "partisan" makes me a bit suspicious, but I'm fine with the results.

Browndog said...

Personnel at the Midland-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy reported the five calls to the FBI and the local police. Spokesman Michael Jahr told the Free Press they appeared to come from one or two women and made repeated references to “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC.

The calls referenced both the ongoing fight over collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin and the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, as well as the FOIA controversy – in which the Mackinac Center asked the labor studies departments for any emails containing the terms “Scott Walker,” “Wisconsin,” “Madison” or “Maddow.” Rachel Maddow has criticized Walker for his push to severely curtail collective bargaining rights. The FOIA requests have also raised concerns about whether they could violate academic freedoms.

In one of the calls to the Mackinac Center, the caller said, “Scotty Walker is dead. So are you. We know where you live.” She then recited the center’s address and said, “We are coming to destroy you.”

In another call, the caller said, “You are the first place to be bombed.”
-Detroit Free Press

Expat(ish) said...

Is there an exemption in law in WI for FOIA from a University?

I asked a buddy here in NC that practices IP law and he said that there was no such thing here.

-XC

Trooper York said...

But those weren't partisan calls.

They were parmesan calls. You know cheesy.

Perfectly acceptable in Wisconsin.

Quayle said...

Without a zone of privacy within which to conduct and protect their work, scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries....

But neither would they be able to produce utter and complete nonsense that oft passes as "knowledge" among lazy and dishonest scholars, nor life and society destroying plans...

So why not throw open the doors? After all, these days it's academics and the left that fear the sunshine.

And that open and transparent Obama character.

SteveR said...

Under that interpretation nearly everything would qualify as in the "zone". Another perk the vast majority of people don't have on an email system from the job.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
retire05 said...

It would seem that the University is allowing Cronon to treat his university email account as a personal account.

This is wrong. The professor's email account is for university business only, and therefore, I would judge since he is a state employee, those emails should ALL be released under FOIA.

Otherwise, the University seems to be taking sides, determining what emails of a public employee account, will, or will not be released.

It is a simple process to block out the names and email addresses of those the professor both received emails from and sent emails to. It appears the University subscribes to the abuse of taxpayer funds by allowing the professor to use that email account for personal reasons. Something that will get you fired in the private industry.

But then, not all of us have been indoctrinated in the belief that academia is sooooooooo special.

Phil 3:14 said...

Not trying to threadjack but this caught my eye

They just can't help themselves can they?

The Crack Emcee said...

So now it just comes down to whether you trust them?

Well do ya?

Leo Ladenson said...

Without a zone of privacy within which to conduct and protect their work, scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries....



Yes, and without a zone of privacy, administrators will not be able to produce new investigations or make life-enhancing regulations.

Yes, let's do away with FOIA.

Or is this just one set of rules for me and another for thee?

Sounds like the secular version of privilege of clergy.

Trooper York said...

Professor Henry Higgins: I paid five pounds for her. She's mine!
(My Fair Lady, 1964)

YoungHegelian said...

"Without a zone of privacy within which to conduct and protect their work, scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries...."

Uhhhh, Why?

If scholars are in an "open intellectual exchange" why do they need a zone of privacy?

If their work is being paid for by the taxpayer, by what right do they claim a privacy exemption?

Everything Chancellor Martin says about academics can apply to government bureaucrats and FOIA. Don't you think government business needs a zone of privacy and confidentiality to foster honest exchange in an agency?

Well, tough shit. It all falls under FOIA. Every memo, every e-mail, every phone log. All of it.

And, yes, fed. bureaucrats hate living under FOIA, as evidenced by every administration's illegal attempt to e-mail outside the boundaries of the archiving protocols.

Man up, ya wimps!

Quayle said...

lol Trooper.

"Listen to me, my man, I don't like the tenor of that question - what we do with her is our affair - your affair is bringing her back so we can continue doing it!"

George said...

Scholars and scientists pursue knowledge by way of open intellectual exchange. Without a zone of privacy within which to conduct and protect their work, scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries...."

What utter and complete bullshit. I'm with YoungHegelian. Who makes a case for "open" by saying "privacy" is required.

Trooper York said...

[Patsy taunts Andy]
Patsy: Come and get it, teacher teacher!
[kiss kiss kiss; chuckles)
(Class of 1984, 1982)

Quayle said...

....scholars would not be able to produce new knowledge or make life-enhancing discoveries...."

I agree with others here.

What a bunch of arrogant, pompous bores these people are. And I use that word advisedly.

Translation: ....scholars would not be able to produce a totally crap idea and slowly test it out among cronies and friends rather than take the risk of being laughed out of their reputations if it were generally released when first thunk of....

Carol_Herman said...

Wrong. Like Princess Diana's cell phone calls, that were intercepted; when you use e-mail, or cell phones. Your privacy is voided.

If you want privacy use land lines. Or pieces of paper that you mail thru the post office. Put a stamp on it, and your privacy is guaranteed.

Bill said...

@quayle and @younghegelian - I am so sick of these academics cloaking their reasoning in this altruistic pursuit of knowledge of which the common man is just not capable. Pursuing knowledge and making discoveries is such important work! Get over yourselves, most of that is done in the real world.

I actually agree with the conclusion, I believe we should all have a zone of privacy around our emails, but guess what- in the real world if someone files a lawsuit against me or my company, all email is potentially discoverable material and we have to save everything in case it has to be produced. Another benefit that academia wants to carve out for themselves.

Maguro said...

What utter and complete bullshit. I'm with YoungHegelian. Who makes a case for "open" by saying "privacy" is required.

Reminiscent of Obama accepting his Transparency Award in a ceremony closed to the public and press.

former law student said...

I'm having trouble picturing Professor Althouse as a government bureaucrat.

Can somebody help me out here?

garage mahal said...

This is like Climategate!

Almost Ali said...

I've always been a big fan of self-policing. And when a policeman of Chancellor Biddy Martin's stature is self-appointed as the be-all-end-all arbiter, I am as satisfied as a sociology professor at Duke. Or Princeton for that matter.

rhhardin said...

I've always managed to do scholarship without a zone of privacy.

I have no idea what they're thinking of.

Unless their scholarship contains a lot of gaming of grants or something.

Applying for grants requires a zone of privacy, he might mean; because people have to get the lie straight.

MayBee said...

If a professor encourages his TAs to protest, that isn't a partisan political activity, right? That's encouraging them to protest on behalf of human rights.

rhhardin said...

She seems to put out a lot of platitudes and cliches.

I guess it's a job for a leftist.

madAsHell said...

The science is settled.

MadisonMan said...

The professor's email account is for university business only, and therefore, I would judge since he is a state employee, those emails should ALL be released under FOIA.

Your first phrase is false.

Browndog said...

"We must conduct our openness in secret"

Must be theme of the week:

OBAMA RECEIVES TRANSPARENCY AWARD BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Beth said...

"Who makes a case for "open" by saying "privacy" is required."

Doctors. Counselors. Priests in the confessional.

Trooper York said...

"I reposed complete confidence in no one but Biddy; but, I told poor Biddy everything. Why it came natural to me to do so, and why Biddy had a deep concern in everything I told her, I did not know then, though I think I know now."
(Great Expectations, 1946)

Pastafarian said...

When I read the law, I missed that part about the 'zone of privacy'.

I'd go back and read it again, but what's the point? It means whatever politicized judges say it means. The actual words that make up law don't matter. I'm sure a politically sympathetic judge will agree with the chancellor.

Trooper York said...

Beth as an english teacher also places great faith in Biddy.

Canuck said...

"So why not throw open the doors? After all, these days it's academics and the left that fear the sunshine."

Because you're not allowed to steal unpublished work. If unpublished manuscripts attached to e-mails can be released to the public, then any Joe Shmoe can steal or plagerize unpublished work.

You have to pay money to buy an article or a book or a patent. Scholars send each other manuscripts. Scientists develop work that Universities patent and sell.

University scientists or scholars are not obligated to turn over their newest technology to unpaying random people who might want to steal unpublished work.

Clearly in this case the GOP didn't want to steal Cronon's--or another scholar's--work. It was a silly political trick that failed because Bill Cronon didn't just fall off the turnip truck.

Ut said...

"Is there an exemption in law in WI for FOIA from a University? I asked a buddy here in NC that practices IP law and he said that there was no such thing here."

There isn't.

What this statement amounts to is little more than an admission of willful violation of the the FOIA law.

Biddy Martin needs to be fired and jailed. He's putting the UW state budget at significant risk and the board should fire him for doing so.

rhhardin said...

...[T]he displacement of God; the attenuation of the concept of Divine Right; the preparation for the demand for political legitimation by individual consent - call this the exaction of a personal willingness to be governed in common, as if one is becoming responsible for the political world, unless one abdicates. Hegel says that with the birth of Christianity a new subjectivty enters the world. I want to say that with the birth of skepticism, hence of modern philosophy, a new intimacy, or wish for it, enters the world; call it privacy shared (not shared with the public, but from it). I suppose this is registered, among other places, in the history of marriage, in the shift from politically arranged to romantically desired marriage...

Stanley Cavell, Disowning Knowledge in Seven Plays of Shakespeare, p.21

Now also in emails.

Trooper York said...

Dean Martin: [begins questioning] Mr. Melon, I'm only going to ask you once:
[beat]
Dean Martin: ...Is this your work?
Thornton Melon: I can't lie to you, Dean Martin
[beat]
Thornton Melon: ...Yes, it is. You can check my emails.
Dean Martin: No never. That would start a bad precident.
(Back to School, 1986)

Trooper York said...

Thornton Melon:Why Dean Martin, why can't you spell?
Dean Martin: Another reason not to release my emails.
(Back to School, 1986)

dpreston04 said...

Yeah, that zone of privacy thing is what got all the climate gate people in the end. Once they were exposed the world finds out about the lie...
the emails are public and paid by the taxpayer....just like mine at work is paid by my employer and they can look at anything they want. As a taxpayer, so should we be able to see what were paying for... Public employees want it both ways...and they want it all.....

Trooper York said...

Dean Martin: [Barbay has arrived at the groundbreaking of the new Melon School of Business] Ah, Phillip... so glad you could make it. Mr. Melon, this is Dr. Phillip Barbay. He's the dean of our new Melon School of Business.
Dr. Phillip Barbay: [Thornton extends his hand, Barbay refuses it and takes Martin aside] David, I just want to get it on record that I am totally against this. I don't think that selling admission to an obviously unqualified student is either ethical or honorable.
Dean Martin: Uh, right... Phil. In Mr. Melon's defense, it was a really big check.
Dr. Phillip Barbay: [glaring at Martin in dismay] It's a simple matter of undermining the efforts of our best students, who are here as the result of hard work!
Thornton Melon: [chiming in] Hard work? Listen, Sherlock! While you were tucked away up here working on your ethics, I was out there busting my hump in the REAL world. And the reason guys like you got a place to teach is 'cause guys like me donate buildings.
Dr. Phillip Barbay: I wasn't speaking to you, Mr. Melon.
[turns on heel and heads to his car]
(Back to School, 1986)

Trooper York said...

Everything you need to learn in life you can learn from Rodney Dangerfield movies.

Canuck said...

"Unless their scholarship contains a lot of gaming of grants or something."

It makes me so pissed off that people think they are entitled to steal academic work or see academic work before it is finished [published].

You have to PAY for books. You have to PAY for technology. You have to PAY for patents. You have to PAY for articles.

I don't care about the other e-mails (Except for student records, which are none of your buisness, unless you are the student.)

You can see all the e-mails you want about the departmental meetings. Quite frankly, it's very booring.

You all think scholars interesting "activist" lives, when academics are mostly a bunch of scholarly geeks with ordinary family lives. E-mails have a lot more to do with departmental fights about which courses ought to be requried for majors and how to get the mice out of the office walls.

In conclusion: the general public does NOT get to see(1) unpublished work or (2) student records.

shoutingthomas said...

UW deliberately and openly discriminates against white hetero men in admissions and employment.

So, Althouse, why am I supposed to give fuck about the selective high falutin' principles of UW?

garage mahal said...

I can't think of a more boring and uninteresting subject for a Republican to read than environmental studies. I can see them pouring the emails and asking "what is this SHIT anyway??"

Triangle Man said...

@Ut.

There are exceptions in Wisconsins open records law for some categories of information.

Triangle Man said...

Biddy is a woman.

Canuck said...

Some of the commenters here might want to sit back and think about how e-mail is used today at Universities and Colleges.

Students often will e-mail papers to professors. (Even if they are told again and again they must hand in hard copy papers.)

Now should any random person get to read that paper? No - this is the student's work.

Unpublished research and book manuscripts are also sent to scholars via e-mail for scholarly review. Other people have the copyrights to this work. You don't get to see unpublished work for free or release it to the public before the editor/publisher.

SteveR said...

In conclusion: the general public does NOT get to see(1) unpublished work or (2) student records.

The "general public" and FOIA is the least of your worries, that sort of information can be redacted. Sending anything that you don't want to be seen by someone other than who it was intended for, is not smart for anyone much less a super intellect academic with super secret information.

Trooper York said...

Your' re special you' re the only
one you' re the only one like you
There isn't aonther one in the whole wide world
You can do the things you do

Oh you are special special
Everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way

Oh you are special special
Everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way

You' re important so you really are
You' re the only one of you
The world is better just because you are here
you should know that we love you

Oh you are special special
Everyone is special
Everyone in his or her own way
(Barney ,1995)

rhhardin said...

I put out unpublished work all the time, looking for suggestions.

If it's plagiarized, it just saves me the trouble of finishing it.

It's never happened though.

YoungHegelian said...

@Canuck,

In case you haven't noticed, the tax payers of WI do pay for what comes out of the U of WI.

No one is saying that FOIA allows one free access to everything that comes out of a government agency. If I want a book from the Gov. Printing Office, I've got to pay for it.

But, on the other hand, if I want to FOIA the background documents on the production of that book, I have that right as a taxpayer and citizen.

It's interesting that you don't get all heated over joint state university / private industry collaborations that are very common in the sciences. One of the iron rules of these exchanges is that the results become public domain.

So, the XZY corp. shells out money to build a better mousetrap with WhatsaMatta U staff & facilities, and when the work is done, the ABC corp --- arch competitor of the XYZ corp -- just requests a copy of the results. Life sucks that way.

Canuck said...

"It's interesting that you don't get all heated over joint state university / private industry collaborations that are very common in the sciences. One of the iron rules of these exchanges is that the results become public domain."

I know a corporation that bought a patent from the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s. The reserach was developed by scholars at the University.

I assure you that patent was NOT free.

All sorts of unpublished research goes over the interweb these days.

And you are not entitled to unpublished research free of charge. In fact, you have to purchase much of the published research. Take it up with the text book companies and patent lawyers if you have an issue.

That's just the way the world works. There's no way Biddy would let that sort of research out to the general public.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canuck said...

"In case you haven't noticed, the tax payers of WI do pay for what comes out of the U of WI."

Oh big whoop. 18% or so.

Soon top universities like Madison will be private.

SteveR said...

So Canuck, do you just don't want to answer my point or do you not understand FOIA?

vnjagvet said...

Biddy is a woman.

...with an unfortunate name for a woman of a certain age.

Just sayin'.

wv coldbet as in it's a coldbet Biddy is full of it.

garage mahal said...


In case you haven't noticed, the tax payers of WI do pay for what comes out of the U of WI.


I almost forgot Walker lost a FOIA case just a few weeks ago and cost taxpayers thousands. He lost because he refused to comply with the FOIA request.

damikesc said...

gm: I almost forgot Walker lost a FOIA case just a few weeks ago and cost taxpayers thousands. He lost because he refused to comply with the FOIA request.

..which, somehow, makes the UW stonewalling on this OK.

Shall we look at how our moron-in-chief handles FOIA requests? He's creating a culture of deception.

Pastafarian said...

Canuck said: "You have to PAY for books. You have to PAY for technology"

We already paid for those emails, by paying the salary of these public employees while they typed and and sent them using our servers on our internet connection.

There are already laws on the books to prevent me from using someone else's "technology" -- just patent it. Or if it's just some bullshit (more likely to be found in universities than actual technology, most of which is created by evil corporations), trademark it.

And, in fact, there already is an exclusion in the law for new technical advances. But a general "zone of privacy"? No, not so much.

Do you want the law to include a "zone of privacy"? Good for you, change the law. Don't try to ram through whatever "interpretation" you like by politicizing the judiciary.

Oh, and Vancouver sucks my balls. Go Wings.

Freeman Hunt said...

Canuck said:

Because you're not allowed to steal unpublished work. If unpublished manuscripts attached to e-mails can be released to the public, then any Joe Shmoe can steal or plagerize unpublished work.

Google "FOIA exemptions." Such things appear to already be exempt from FOIA.

Pastafarian said...

On page 9 of the pdf:

"(4) trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged
or confidential;"

Here's the whole law:

http://dma.wi.gov/dma/FOIA/FOIAtheLaw.pdf

They don't have to release trade secrets. That probably includes all that advanced tech-MOL-ogy created by those poly sci and sociology professors, Canuck.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Weird. I would have figured that the email systems at any state-funded entity would be public records. I guess some states are different.

Elliott A said...

This is the same argument Michael Mann used to get UVA to fight release of his "stuff" to the Virginia AG. The only things which could be considered private are those already connected to patented or copyright eligible items still under development, where an actual harm will occur if the info is released. The University in question can answer that question. Anything done or said by a public employee is by definition, public. If he wants privacy, work at a private institution.

Joe said...

Academic freedom doesn't mean to stay silent with impunity, but then again... duh.

former law student said...

You guys who believe the FOIA applies to professorial emails would be barking out of the other side of your muzzle if, say Dave Weigel wanted to read Prof. Althouse's emails.

Oh, hell, why not just cc Ezra Klein on every mail that goes through a university server?

David said...

There is no zone of privacy in the emails of private businesses. In fact we have laws that require businesses to preserve their emails in case any private litigant or government agency desires to read them.

I'm sure there are distinctions, but I'm not sure I get why academic gets different treatment.

Pastafarian said...

But ElliottA, what if Canuck's dissertation titled "On the Pulling of Exclusions and Exceptions to Law From My Anal Sphincter" is released before he can finish all the footnotes?

Allen said...

This does not mean that scholars can be irresponsible in the use of state and university resources or the exercise of academic freedom.

Actually, that is precisely what it means.

We have dutifully reviewed Professor Cronon's records for any legal or policy violations, such as improper uses of state or university resources for partisan political activity. There are none.

Bullshit.

Trooper York said...

Senator John Stennis has agreed to listen to the tapes and approve an edited transcript that I will present to to the court.
(Richard Milhous Nixon, 1972)

PaulV said...

garage mahal said...


Good point-Those climategate emails were gathered for a FOIA request. When the request was spiked a whistle blower released them. Science is based on skepticism. Hiding the data is a fraud on science

Pastafarian said...

fls said: "You guys who believe the FOIA applies to professorial emails would be barking out of the other side of your muzzle if, say Dave Weigel wanted to read Prof. Althouse's emails."

I guess we're not even hillbillies anymore, just coon hounds.

I'm not a big fan of FOIA laws in general, to be honest. But if they exist, then they apply to everyone. No exceptions, unless it's written into the law. You can't pass a law and then decide it only applies to your political opponents.

Imagine, for example, if the administration decided to grant exemptions to Obamacare, with absolutely no authority to do so.

Oh, wait. Bad example.

Suppose the justice department decided they'd only pursue civil rights cases if whites infringed on those of non-whites, but not vice versa.

OK -- another bad example.

You know what? You're right. The law means whatever the fuck you want it to mean. Don't even waste the paper next time writing it down.

PaulV said...

Pastafarian said...

Look under cone of silence.

Triangle Man said...

FOIA is not germaine here.

SteveR said...

AA has said she uses gmail not on a campus network. Try again

PaulV said...

Pastafarian said...
"When I read the law, I missed that part about the 'zone of privacy'."

I think iit covered under 'zone of silence' provision

PaulV said...

Triangle Man said...
"FOIA is not germaine here."

4/1/11 9:29 PM

Why not? Using state office email for political ist verboten.

former law student said...

AA has said she uses gmail not on a campus network.

Must be tough never to access email from her office.

SteveR said...

Must be tough never to access email from her office.

If you'd have been paying attention you'd know which she account she uses for what and from where. sigh try again

Canuck said...

"Oh, hell, why not just cc Ezra Klein on every mail that goes through a university server?"

Oh, it would be very amusing if every faculty member in the Wisconsin system simply forwarded to the Wisconsin State GOP every single e-mail that came into their mailbox.

heh. Cronon gets at least 80 e-mails a day.

Canuck said...

I know a cardiologist who is in the middle of a study. I have no idea why you all think you are entitled to his preliminary research because he is faculty.

Whatever. If this sort of thing becomes common enough good researchers will not work at public instituitons. Or it will become customary to correspond with researchers and editors on private accounts.

SteveR said...

Canuck Don't be dense, that sort of information can be protected by FOIA. What's your problem?

Canuck said...

"I would have figured that the email systems at any state-funded entity would be public records. I guess some states are different."

Only government officials & e-mails that concern the governing of the state.

For example - Universities have a bunch of student records. Student records are not public records. That would mean that anybody could see your transcript.

also - FOIA is not legal discovery. A friend works on legal discovery - some similarities, but not the same thing.

Canuck said...

"Canuck Don't be dense, that sort of information can be protected by FOIA. What's your problem?"

I have a problem with the people who have been posting who think they are entitled to see any and all research being produced by academics without paying for it.

And because they don't understand how it could hurt research.

I know - I should not be upset because I "disagree with somebody on the internet." Stepping away now...

SteveR said...

You don't have a clue pathetic

Freeman Hunt said...

Canuck, if you scroll up, you'll see that your concern has been addressed.

The things you are talking about are already exempt under FOIA.

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought that academic freedom meant you could pursue whatever avenues of research you wanted and set your own course content. I did not know that it also meant you got a "zone of privacy."

I also don't see how the Chancellor sorting through your email to decide what is and isn't relevant to FOIA furthers academic freedom. Giving the Chancellor, or anyone else, that kind of discretion sets up a system where some professors can get special protection while other professors can be punished.

Say you're pursuing research that this email sorting team doesn't agree with... do you want them sorting through all of your email and deciding what counts as within your "zone of privacy" and what doesn't? I would not submit to that.

Alex said...

BTW many employers use keyloggers so...

Freeman Hunt said...

How about a Cone of Silence instead?

former law student said...

If you'd have been paying attention you'd know which she account she uses for what and from where. sigh try again

Accounts don't matter; networks matter. University resources matter.

SteveR said...

Accounts don't matter; networks matter. University resources matter.

Like I said, if you had been paying attention you would know she doesn't use her non UW accounts on a UW betwork. So simple.

former law student said...

if you had been paying attention you would know she doesn't use her non UW accounts on a UW betwork.

Paying attention to what? Have you been sniffing packets again?

gadfly said...

So the Old Biddy wrote:

"Having every exchange of ideas subject to public exposure puts academic freedom in peril and threatens the processes by which knowledge is created."

To paraphrase the words of Professor Glen Reynolds wrote about academic freedom:

"A cynic might suggest, of course, that notions of academic freedom were developed in the first half of the 20th century largely in order to protect communists from being fired, and that since [Professor William Cronon] isn’t a communist, academic freedom shouldn’t apply . . . ."

Even Slate wants a piece of this action:

"Is the Wisconsin Republican Party using the freedom of information process to label Cronon a communist? Is it trying to paint the University of Wisconsin as a safe harbor for communist spies and communist sympathizers?"

As the old saying goes, "If the shoe fits, wear it."