In Other Words
“As researchers, scholars, and teachers, it is our responsibility to protect the pursuit of truth on our college campuses. We must challenge the preconceived notions of our students and society at large through vigorous, fact-based presentation and the dissemination of information based on scholarly processes.”
—Kumble R. Subbaswamy
UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, writing in the Boston Globe in May, argued that academic freedom is key to truth and democracy. Citing the 850-year history of the formal protection of scholars from government interference and from reprisals for their academic work, Subbaswamy said, “These concepts, the foundation of what we now refer to as ‘academic freedom,’ have, over the centuries, enabled some of the most significant advances in the history of mankind.”
DO THE RIGHT THING
Professor Ervin Staub’s words on moral courage (“What Is Moral Courage?,” Spring 2017) brought to mind a shorthand version in two words that I try to use in my daily life: should versus must. Should is how I’m expected to behave/react/respond; whereas must is my moral imperative, even though it may violate social norms.
Wonderful definition of moral courage by Prof. Staub. Can he also propose one for both conservative and libertarian thinking? If not, how much MC is allowed to do so?
A DIFFERENT TUNE
While I admit digital organs (“All the Stops,” Spring 2017) are producing better sound all the time, as an organist, the direct connection between keys and live, pipe-wind-produced sound is very meaningful to the player, whether psychological or real as in playing a tracker-action organ. To the listener, this doesn’t matter; to the player it does.
I was a student at UMass in the late 1960s. The chapel’s pipe organ may have been gone by then. The organ was built by Steere & Turner of Westfield, Massachusetts, as their Opus 220 of 1886 with one manual and six ranks. At some point, it was moved to and still exists in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst.
The chapel’s organ was purchased around 1924 by the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst and is still in use there. —Ed.
I enjoyed the many interesting articles in the Spring 2017 issue. My favorite is “Big, Ugly, Strong, and Stupid” about Frank Hugus’s class on trolls, giants, and dwarves. I like to think what a great addition this would have made to my zoology studies 50 years ago.
SATURDAY NIGHT LAUGHS
Thank you for including Mission Improv in your most recent issue (“Comic Heaven,” Spring 2017). Some of my best times at UMass were Saturday nights laughing endlessly at Mission Improv. I have a greater appreciation of comedy thanks to Mike Carr ’03 and the rest of the troupe. Thanks for all the good times.