The Oct. 8 Metro article “Departing scholar criticizes U-Va. hire” left unanswered Marc Short’s calling University of Virginia faculty members “closed-minded” — unfortunately, as Mr. Short is disingenuously summoning a current caricature. I assure readers that is baloney. I have taught, written and argued with U-Va. faculty colleagues whose views differ greatly from mine and I’ve relished such difference, seeing it as essential to my life as a faculty member. That makes me simply typical of the way we do our work.
Mr. Short’s commitment to falsehood and deception, in service of positions antithetical to the principles the university claims to uphold, is revolting and should have been sufficient reason to bar his being invited to work here. But my main objection to his appointment is that the only qualification anyone has claimed for him is recent, short experience in the White House. Anyone who has served in the military would have much of importance to tell our students about that experience, but we don’t crowdsource the teaching of military history; anyone who has thought or perceived the world or felt emotion has likely experienced such things uniquely, but we don’t crowdsource the teaching of neuroscience. It would take 20 Mr. Shorts at least to match the expertise of any of the three faculty members who have resigned their Miller Center positions because of his appointment.
However abhorrent his views, discussion of his place here would be different, I feel sure, if he were particularly qualified to do anything but slander.
Victor Luftig, Crozet, Va.