(Colombia) The State. 23 November 2021.
Editorial: End of term at universities in South Carolina will hurt students
Academic freedom is not a new concept in this country.
In 1819, however, when former President Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, this was a radical notion.
âThis institution will be based on the unlimited freedom of the human spirit. Because here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it leads, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to fight it, âsaid Jefferson.
Take a moment to digest Jefferson’s words.
He spoke of the limitless potential of our mind to learn, study, understand, question.
American universities have rightly followed this model, but American politicians seem increasingly opposed to this notion.
The latest group to seek to limit academic freedom is a group of 23 Republican members of the South Carolina legislature who support Bill 4522, better known as the Canceling Professor Tenure Act.
The bill would prohibit public colleges and universities from granting tenure to employees hired in 2023 or later. Instead, faculty members would be offered contracts no longer than five years.
It would also eliminate tenure if there were no more permanent employees at an establishment in December 2022.
A similar effort failed earlier this year in Iowa.
The American Association of University Teachers defines tenure as “an indeterminate appointment that can only be terminated for cause or under extraordinary circumstances such as a financial requirement and termination of the program.”
Representative Bill Taylor, the sponsor of the bill, told our reporter Lucas Daprile that âthere is no guarantee of employment for life. The question remains as to why higher education professors are the only exception. In my opinion, each of us must demonstrate our work.
But Taylor does not know why the tenure exists.
Consider the Jefferson quote again.
“We are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it leads, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is free to fight it.”
Imagine a college or university campus where professors are afraid to introduce new ideas, research or theories or to fight those who spread disinformation for them simply because they might be controversial or unpopular.
Tenure gives faculty the freedom to address issues, topics, stories, and controversies without fear of reprisal or reprimand.
It allows ideas to be shared in our classrooms where students and teachers can interact, reason and debate.
âIf Bill HB 4522 were to become law, it would cause irreparable damage to the quality of education in the South Carolina public university system by destroying the means by which academic freedom is protected, namely tenure. The main objective of tenure is to protect academic freedom, which is essential for the quality of teaching and research in higher education, âKelly Benjamin, spokesperson for the American Association of University Professors wrote on Tuesday. in an email to the State Editorial Board.
Kelly added, âIn the service of the common good, tenure enables faculty members to pursue research and innovation, and to draw evidence-based conclusions, without corporate, religious or political pressure. In reputable higher education institutions, academic freedom is protected because full professors can only be dismissed for reasons related to professional aptitude and only after a hearing before a body of the faculty during which the administration must argue that the conduct or performance of the faculty member justifies termination. “
“If passed, HB 4522 would put in place a system that would shift the burden of proof from an institution’s administration (to justify termination) to the individual faculty member (to show why he or she should be retained, “Kelly wrote.
In an age when schools across the country, including South Carolina, are debating banning books and limiting history to be taught, we must stand up for the right of our children to learn and that our teachers teach everything the world has to offer.
We urge lawmakers to reject the Taylor Bill, which would give college professors a reason to remain silent rather than “follow the truth wherever it leads.”
Post and courier (Charleston). 23 November 2021.
Editorial: The Lowcountry Food Bank helps ensure we all have reason to thank
The Lowcountry Food Bank is distributing nearly 50 tons of turkey (5,500 whole birds; 2,600 breasts) to families in need on the coast of South Carolina this week, and it’s not just because these birds are a good source of protein. As the motto of the association indicates, its work is not limited to feeding people; it is also about defending them and making them responsible.
And families who get a turkey won’t be fed just for a day (maybe a lot longer if they’re smart with leftovers). They will feel like they are participating in our typical American Thanksgiving feast. Without it, they might naturally feel even more marginalized than they already are.
But this year’s turkey distribution story also underscores another important reality: As the pandemic and its economic ripple effects continue, Lowcountry’s food bank must be more adaptive and resilient than ever – and its success. continues to depend on those of us who are able to provide support.
Food bank president and CEO Nick Osborne said he found it necessary to increase the nonprofit’s turkey order in March of this year – eight months before the organization nonprofit does not distribute them. The supplement reflected a lesson learned: The bank struggled last year to find enough birds closer to Thanksgiving, as COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc on our economy as well as our health.
âThis year has been a year of adaptation, while last year has been a year of uncertainty,â he tells us. âWe had to pivot and adjust, and that will continue over the coming year. “
This is where the lucky ones among us come in. The Lowcountry Food Bank receives much of its support from direct food donations from regional and national donors, grocery stores, United States Department of Agriculture programs, other federal aid and local food drives. .
But it also depends on financial support – in cash and in-kind donations other than food – to function well, which this year will involve the distribution of around 40 million pounds of food, water and water. essential items to approximately 185,000 people, more than 12% of the population of the 10 coastal counties it serves. The bank works with more than 250 churches, nonprofits and other partners to distribute the food, while its 15 trucks travel a quarter of a million kilometers across the region.
These non-food donations run to around $ 12 million a year and help the food bank buy needed food it wouldn’t otherwise be able to get: about 6% of all its food last year was purchased. Right now, the food bank is feeling the same pinch most of us have with rising food prices, gas prices and other inflationary pressures, including the shortage of truck drivers.
That’s why the Lowcountry Food Bank’s year-end financial appeal is important, and why we need to help where we can. Demand for his help remains at an all-time high (the Â£ 40million given out this year is up from the Â£ 39.7million given out last year, which eclipsed the Â£ 32million in 2019).
The association has been a good steward of the support it has received. It recently launched a new GIS program to ensure that its distribution trucks use the shortest and most efficient routes possible. Overall, his work has helped prevent our health crisis of the past 1.5 years from turning into a humanitarian crisis, at least in our part of the world. As we give thanks this week, we should take a break and be thankful for it.
And those of us who have the most to be thankful for should consider giving the Food Bank more than just our thanks. For a family in need, a turkey on Thanksgiving can bring a sense of dignity. For families able to afford a feast with all the trimmings, giving back can have a different meaning, but just as satisfying.
The (Orangeburg) Times and Democrat. November 12, 2021.
Editorial: Recognizing the contributions of Native Americans
November is Native American Heritage Month.
I didn’t know there was such a month? Native Americans say this is part of the problem. Too little attention is paid by the government, the media and the general public to them as a minority and to issues relating to Native Americans. They claim that their story is not well known and taught enough.
South Carolina officially locally recognizes the Santee Indian Organization and the Beaver Creek Indians, as well as the Pine Hill Indian Community Development Initiative. In addition to the Catawbas and the Edisto Natchez-Kusso tribe of South Carolina, the others are:
â¢ The PeeDee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina
â¢ The PAIA Lower Eastern Cherokee Nation of South Carolina
â¢ The Sumter tribe of the Cheraw Indians
â¢ The Waccamaw Indian people
â¢ The Wassamasaw tribe of the Varnertown Indians
The Catawbas are the largest tribe in South Carolina and the only tribe recognized by the federal government.
There is news regarding three of the tribes to share during this special month.
South Carolina 1st District MP Nancy Mace wants a second tribe to be recognized by the federal government. She introduced legislation to extend recognition to the Edisto Natchez-Kusso tribe.
âAs we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, I am introducing legislation to federally recognize a distinguished group of indigenous people in our district,â Mace said. “The Natchez-Kusso tribe was part of this land long before America existed as a country.”
“This is a long overdue first step in granting the recognition this Lowcountry tribe deserves.”
Meanwhile, 6th District Congressman James Clyburn is sponsoring the Catawba Indian Nation Land Act which reaffirms the Home Office’s recognition of the Catawba Indian Nation’s historic and ancestral ties to the lands. of Kings Mountain and the right of the Catawba Nation to conduct gambling operations on these lands under the terms of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
And on a sad note, Indian Chief Santee Randy Anthony Crummie, 62, of Holly Hill, passed away on October 25.
For the November celebration, Governor SC Henry McMaster’s proclamation recognized the contributions of Native Americans to the state and country, pledging to uphold their unique history, culture, ways of life and heritage.
Southern Carolinians need to be aware that they can do more to make this reality a reality.