Around Town: KSU's new colors ... black, gold - and red?
by Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney and Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
March 04, 2011 10:37 PM | 7070 views | 28 28 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARXISM? GOOD.

Capitalism? Bad. Very, very bad.

And the United States? Why, it is "the most violent nation-state in history."

No, we're not quoting Nikita Khrushchev or Hugo Chavez. Not Moammar Gadhafi or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Those sentiments and that quote can be found in a lengthy research paper by Kennesaw State University's new $228,000-a-year provost, Dr. Timothy Chandler of Kent State University, who will be the second-highest administrator and right-hand man to President Dr. Dan Papp.

Papp, meanwhile, told Around Town on Friday that he was "blindsided" to learn what Chandler had written. Papp was reached by phone at the investiture ceremony for popular former KSU Provost Dr. Lendley Black, who is the new Chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Chandler's paper was published in the Jan.-Feb. 1998 issue of The Journal of Higher Education and titled "Beyond Boyer's 'Scholarship Reconsidered': Fundamental Change in the University and the Socioeconomic Systems." (The "Boyer" referred to is Ernest Boyer, author of "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate.")

Chandler co-authored the piece with fellow Kent State professor Walter E. Davis, Ph.D. - who has gone on to greater fame (or notoriety) as one of the foremost 9/11 conspiracy theorists, charging that President Bush was complicit in the attacks. When Davis's name is "Googled," the very first item that appears is his 7,000-word screed arguing that it is "not logical" and "impossible" that bin Laden was responsible; that the U.S. was planning to invade Afghanistan before the attacks; that the Bush family "got their start as key Hitler supporters," and much more. But one can't hold it against Chandler that he co-wrote a paper with such a kook when the 9/11 attacks were still years in the future.

Chandler on Friday said he disagrees with Davis, and Papp told AT that Davis' anti-Bush rant was "a piece of trash."

Far more serious is Chandler and Davis' obvious fondness for Marx and vehement dislike of capitalism, which underpins much of their paper. Though Marx is mentioned by name only a few times in their magnum opus, they seem to have swallowed Marxist theory hook, line and sinker. Some excerpts:

* "Although the close connection of capitalism to violence is easily shown, it is seldom acknowledged. The allocative resources, which are increasingly disproportionably possessed, were obtained by individuals and groups, at one time or another, by physical force, coercion."

* "Increased competition results in increased ethnicity and racism."

* "Militarism, the development and use of weapons of mass destruction, occurs for the primary purpose of accumulating and protecting ownership of material wealth and obtaining or maintaining domination and is thus an effective goal of capitalism."

* "The goal of accumulating material wealth in the context of a hierarchical social structure influences an individual's desire for power, privilege and self-determination toward characteristics of greed and selfishness, which in turn produce inequality and conflict with others."

* "Capitalism requires an ever increasing consumption (growth) and can easily lead to the destruction of the physical environment. Because of its hegemonic nature, capitalism penetrates into every aspect of life ... and often with devastating effects. Capitalism is hierarchically structured and characterized by a high degree of inequity and an extreme disproportioned distribution of wealth and power. ... As a result, masses of people are forced to succumb to the economic system in order to survive. An asymmetric distribution of resources guarantees high levels of competition, greed, and violence. These three outcomes are important explicit goals of capitalism."

* "While the United States has the most sophisticated propaganda apparatus ever assembled, it is also the most violent nation-state in history."

* "Ownership is taken for granted in capitalistic societies and is central to the accumulation of wealth and domination. All ownership of land or material means of production was at one time or another obtained by force. One prominent means of maintaining ownership and control is through generational inheritance, a concept that is accepted without question, whereas reparations for certain groups, which can be argued for with the same logic, is not."

* "The record of Western science is mixed. Along with all the advances in technology and industry comes five hundred years of oppression and destruction. Universities must take a major responsibility for this destruction, as they must take a major role in halting the slide down the slippery slope of self-elimination. The university in the context of capitalism clearly must be evaluated."

The 25,000-word paper mixes leaden prose and an onslaught of academic jargon. It's almost as long as "War and Peace" but without the latter's thrills. It clearly wasn't written for the general reader. We hope for the sake of Chandler's students that his lectures are more interesting than his writings.

Chandler, 59, is a native of the United Kingdom who became a U.S. citizen just three years ago. He holds a Ph.D. in education/physical education from Stanford University in California and has spent the bulk of his academic career teaching and/or studying in this country and Canada.

Chandler and Davis argue that students and faculty should have "real academic freedom, and real socioeconomic security."

They also state that their paper's major contention is "that all dominate-subordinate relationships are to be challenged." We'll see how Chandler likes being challenged by students - and how well Papp likes being challenged by Chandler.

WHEN CONTACTED Friday by AT, Chandler suggested the flap over his writings was much ado about nothing and described himself as a political "moderate."

"I am certainly not a Marxist," he said. "I see it as one way of looking at the world. It's not the way I personally choose to look at the world. But as an academic I have to be open to a variety of points of view. It's not my own personal point of view. I would consider myself anything but a Marxist, but I think there's still good reasons to think about it from a variety of perspectives."

Chandler conceded, however, that he and Davis wrote the paper "partly through a Marxist lens."

"Certainly there are aspects of that paper where we looked through a Marxist lens, and I think that's perfectly acceptable in academic circles to do that," he said. No doubt.

But why not look at it through a "capitalist lens"? If Chandler and Davis had wanted to choose an utterly discredited political theory to look at things through, why didn't they choose a "Nazi lens," or a "segregationist lens" or a "colonialist lens"? What's so special about Marxism?

***
LAST SPRING was not a great one for Dr. Papp. His handling of the Jessica Colotl case (involving an illegal alien enrolled as a student at KSU) showed him politically tone deaf to public opinion, according to his critics. Now this spring may not look much better. His injudicious remarks in the Colotl case came back to haunt him, and now his choice of Chandler doesn't look likely to easily resolve itself.

Papp implied that his provost search committee (which was headed by Dr. Arlinda Eaton, dean of the KSU Bagwell College of Education) had failed him by not raising any red flags (pardon the pun) about Chandler's views.

"I would point out that there was a faculty team on the search committee that reviewed his publications including that one," he told MDJ reporter Jon Gillooly, who contributed to and helped research this report. "I have not read the paper per se, but as I said, the faculty review team went through his research materials and was aware of this."

Of course, many will argue the fact that a team of academics could read such a paper and see its Marxist worldview as no big deal is indicative of how prevalent such thinking is in the faculty lounges at some campuses.

"I believe if you look at his entire body of work that you cannot reach the conclusion that he is a Marxist by any stretch of the imagination," Papp told AT.

We'll let readers be the judge of that.

He added that he now has read some of the excerpts of Chandler's paper "and some of them are anti-capitalism, but I would point out that some capitalists criticize capitalism as well."

True, but they are rarely as scathing as Chandler, unless perhaps writing for The Daily Worker.

Papp told AT that had he been fully briefed ahead of time about Chandler's writing, "I would have asked a whole lot more questions."

We don't doubt that. Papp noted that his focus throughout his career has been "supporting and helping American national security policy and strategy. I strongly oppose the concepts of Marxism and Leninism and anti-capitalism."

But as to the hiring of Chandler, he added, "It's a done deal."

That may depend on how the Chandler hiring plays with KSU's alumni and business supporters - nearly of them "capitalists," we would suppose. They might not cotton to the idea of having someone with an outlook so inimical to theirs helping run the show there. They might decide to "vote with their pocketbooks" and withhold their contributions. That might get the attention of Papp, who is committed to raising the millions of dollars necessary to field a football team for KSU.

It all brings to mind the old joke about how there aren't any Marxists left in the old Soviet Union - because they've all found professorships in American universities.
Comments
(28)
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Disgusted alumna
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March 24, 2011
You seem to be confused about Marxist thought - hint, it's a philosophy that has been used as a political underpinning. Marxism has long been used as a means of looking at how societies work - unless you were just baiting your readership. You were, weren't you?

Using Marxist philosophy to look at different aspects of the world is not a discredited, it is actually encouraged is some places. There are Weberian scholars that use a "capitalist lens" to look at the same problems, Chandler just didn't happen to be one.

You and your readers, with your "public pressure," cost KSU the potential that it needs to become a prestigious school in Georgia and in the Southeast. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Revealerofthruth
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March 20, 2011
Its not Marxists we need to be worried about, its the Sith! Obama is a sith, just google it! I swear, you sheeple need to wake up before its too late. Don't you get it? 9/11 was done by the reptilians and Ron Paul and Glenn Beck are androids. The world is coming to an end 2012, check the MayAns yo. Aliens are controlling the internet and when you drink water from the tap the Sith drain your energy. Just check it, you can see them inside the bubbles!
Proud Communist
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March 20, 2011
Wow, authors, you guys are pretty dumb. Then again, I suppose that much of your audience would have to be pretty IQ-deficient, too, just to buy into this witch-hunt crap. You do know that there are plenty of real, committed Marxists in academia to go after, right? I mean, you'd have to separate the armchair radicals from the commies, but you'd find them. In any case, I thought we'd dispensed with this McCarthyist BS long ago. We're communists and we love our country, but we're not so stupid that we can't separate the capitalist system that rules us from the country that sustains us. Still, I see that there are always plenty of under-educated barbarians clamoring for a piece of commie hide. But what else would I expect from Marietta? Your city is a culturally bleached, suburban dump.
Outside Observer
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March 18, 2011
Re: A Taxpayer...

Your degree will be worth much more in the "real world" if it is from an institution of higher learning that values intellectual freedom rather than reactionary, sensationalist reporting.
anonymous
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March 18, 2011
Great! And pretty soon we can all think just like Georgia Forever and the mad tax payer and veteran. Is there a particular uniform you want me to wear and should I send all the books I read to you for approval? If we dare to think any different or actually read scholarship that doesn't fit your narrow, erroneous and pathetic vision of American patriotism or believe in things you don't, should we all be fired and thrown from our houses and out of this country? You should take a long hard look at what is "ruining this country" before you accuse others. I feel bad for Georgia and Georgians that they have such a contemptuous, and clearly nescient newspaper ultimately making these decisions.
Off-the-wall radical
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March 18, 2011
As someone who works for the other KSU, I am glad that Chandler has turned down Kennesaw's offer and decided to stay with our KSU. I have worked with Dr. Chandler in many capacities and he is a wonderful academic and leader. The way he has been smeared for expressing his views in a critical framework is a shame and Kennesaw does not deserve him. I am appalled that people would attach him in this way. One more thing, all of us at Kent State are far from off-the-wall radicals. Way to make a broad sweeping generalization.
Jennifer Scott
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March 08, 2011
I find this witch hunt rather disturbing. Perhaps the conservative narrow minded individuals who have written this nonsense should consider the knowledge and developments the professoriate at KSU have brought to their bigoted community. The good old boy network of Marietta and Cobb County should be told that their money cannot destroy academic freedom at KSU. I hope President Papp and the faculty of KSU ensure that Dr. Chandler is KSU's next provost. Shame on you people...
Committee Question
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March 07, 2011
"Is this REALLY the best you could produce out of so many candidates?" The committee's process should be re-examined and they should be held accountable.
georgia forever
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March 06, 2011
The State Board of Regents needs to fire Chandler, Papp and all of the people Papp chose for the election process for Chandler. It is clear Chandler is a Marxist. It is also an absolute fact that everyone affiliated with Kent State is an off-the-wall radical and everyone involved in academics knows this. Chandler would never have been employed at Kent State had he not been an off-the-wall radical. Fire every one of these worthless individuals and bring in a group who are more aligned with the patriotism and loyal allegiance of what it means to be a proud American citizen.
My Own Person
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March 06, 2011
The United States economy system is not a pure capitalist model. You have regulations from the federal government against a monopoly. In addition, the federal government has established safety nets for its citizens -- Unemployment Insurance, Medicad and Medicare come to mind. Finally, the allocation of resources are manipulated by a very complex and often misguided tax codes.

With that said, the two authors used the definition of pure capitalist (similar to Karl Marx) to highlight its shortcomings. I think the people of the U.S. agree that a pure capitalist model is not the answer. In fact, there is not a pure capitalist economy in existence today, and I do not think you will ever see one. If you do, I believe Karl Marx's prediction will come true. (You should read his works for yourself. I do think it will make you a Marxist.)

I read the complete article produced by Chandler and Davis and I think these gentleman made a mistake using a pure capitalist model against the backdrop of how decisions are made at an university. In addition, the political overtone about the United States history of violence was not necessary to reinforce their central theme -- People should have a voice in matters that impact them. I think this is the goal of democracy. In 1998, they basically asked the question, "Are universities becoming factories that produce mindless graduates who simply follow the voice of the majority to live a comfortable life?"

In the business world, people use the terms such as boss and subordinates. Boss does imply control and subordinates implies one not in control. This works great for the one that thinks he or she is actually in control. In addition, it gives the illusion to the subordinates that he or she should strive to be the boss. (Is this what we call competition?) Why can't everyone be an associate; individuals who work together for a common cause and purpose? This can work in the business world as well as the academic arena. This, I believe, is what these gentleman were trying to convey.



So, how many people actually read the piece produced by Chandler and Davis before providing feedback on the article written by this newspaper. My guess is not very many. I guess it is easier to follow the lead of this well regarded newspaper in determining what to think about Dr. Chandler versus taking the time to read the piece for yourself.

To an open minded person, the article written by these gentleman raised some interesting questions about how universities are run. But more importantly, they challenged the core belief of most people -- there is only one way to do something and it is the way that the majority say it should be done.

Try reading for yourself!

My Own Person

P.S. You should check your stats. The U.S. have killed more people in battle than any other nation in the history of man. But let not forget, it was done in the name of democracy.
Vietnam Veteran
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March 06, 2011
I think that Mr. Papp should take his "arrogance" along with Mr. Chandler and his selection committee on a "slow boat to China" as they say!!!

KSU has built a GREAT reputation without Mr. Papp...I'm sure it could continue without him and Mr. Chandler in the future. This country is already disintergrating because of liberals like him.

Thanks MDJ for allowing me to "vent" on this situation.
Rick Zeier
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March 05, 2011
"...it is the most violent nation-state in history." It makes you wonder how Chandler's and Davis's sense of history can ignore Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Japan's rape of Russia, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Mao's starving of millions in China, Saddam Hussein's murder of the Kurds, Armenia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Bosnia, to slander America in such a manner.

Dr. Papp should question the competence and motives of the search committee as I am beginning to question his. KSU does not need Mr. Chandler on staff.

A Taxpayer
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March 05, 2011
Get rid of the new guy AND get rid of Papp. I'm embarrassed of the reputation my college is bringing on itself. What is my degree going to be worth in the real world if it's tainted with the stains of a socialist and Marxist administration?
An Alumnus
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March 05, 2011
It doesn't bother this KSU alumnus one bit and won't change my donations one iota. The thought process that states that one professorial paper from 1998 makes the new provost a Marxist is ridiculous. Attempting to paint him as such, as seen in this article, based on that one paper is equally ridiculous. Perhaps the authors should review the rest of his papers before declaring him a Marxist and beginning a smear campaign? Or is that no longer relevant in today's journalism? I'll let the readers decide.
Meme to Dan Papp
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March 05, 2011
Cut your losses and tell this whaco you and KSU don't need him or want him.
former contributor
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March 05, 2011
Tell Kent State they can keep this guy. Our students deserve better.
Veteran Observer
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March 05, 2011
Dr Eaton and the education school is the problem! Have talked to many students and they say that a very intense socialist/Marxist bias permeates the school! It is so bad that anyone expressing a capitalist or pro America viewpoint is persecuted and students must parrot these views or fail! Dr Papp is a fine person but there is something rotten in Kennesaw and he must clean it up! KSU must create an atmosphere of academic freedom or die!
No to Socialism
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March 05, 2011
Dr. Papp "blindsided"? This is going to be is right hand man and he doesn't know his views on such a major subject? Unbelievable! As to being a "done deal", any position of this type should have a probation period and I would suggest that KSU reconsider this offer and send Dr. Chandler packing as quickly as possible. I can certainly defend Dr. Chandlers right to openly state his opinion and views but these are to the extreme left of the majority of this state and Nation as a whole and it would best for KSU to find someone more acceptable.
Bob B
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March 05, 2011
Chandler's coauthor's 9/11 Truther site is here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4582.htm

Does Chandler disavow this? It's not clear from the article.
space
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March 05, 2011
Can KSU rescind the offer? At this point Chandler should reject the offer.
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