Primacy of Teaching and Research

The WSJ reports that two Yale professors, Nicholas Christakis and Kate Stith, sent an email to faculty urging a refocus on academic endeavours. The email is not public, but the WSJ has reproduced parts of it:

Yale faculty are the custodians of a system of values that is presently under threat from a number of directions. We believe that by organizing ourselves in support of what should be the fundamental mission of a university such as ours, we would be able to advocate for changes we see as crucial. While these changes (ranging from tackling a burgeoning or oppressive bureaucracy to defending free expression) might seem unrelated to each other, we believe that they all flow from the fact that the university has come to be alienated from its fundamental mission.

(1) to insist on the primacy of teaching, learning, and research as distinct from advocacy and activism, and to recognize the centrality of the faculty to these core activities; (2) to affirm Yale’s commitment to robust free expression coupled with institutional neutrality; and (3) to commit to identifying and challenging the institutionalized expressions of conformism and “correct thinking” that have deformed our campus ethos and culture in recent years.

Read more here.