However symptomatic Professor Churchill may be of what is wrong with academia today, his situation has nothing to do with academic freedom. His remarks that provoked so much controversy were not made in a classroom or even on campus.
There are no real grounds for firing him under current rules and practices -- which tells you what is wrong with those rules and practices. Professor Churchill is protected by tenure rules that are a much bigger problem than this one man or this one episode.
In this era of dumbed-down education, when rhetoric has replaced both logic and evidence for many people, some think the issue is "freedom of speech." Indeed, some critics of Professor Churchill have been shouted down by his supporters, in the name of freedom of speech.
Too many people -- some of them judges -- seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for what you have said. If you believe that, try insulting your boss when you go to work tomorrow. Better yet, try insulting your spouse before going to bed tonight.
Elementary, my dear readers, he seems to be saying. And he's right. So why aren't there more of him? Thanks to Beautiful Atrocities for reminding me to stay caught up with Sowell here.