University of Chicago Prof: Don't Bring Obama Library Here

Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012 12:13 AM

By Patrick Hobin

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A quiet campus struggle has broken out at the University of Chicago, where President Barack Obama was a senior law lecturer, as to whether or not his presidential library should reside there, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

One professor says that if the school becomes the home of his presidential library, it will be tainted as liberal.

“I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university’s highest-profile institution on a national basis,” political science professor Charles Lipson told the Sun-Times. “It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama’s political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns.”

Lipson made the comparison of the Reagan Library in California attracting conservative speakers and the Kennedy and Carter libraries in Boston and Atlanta attracting liberal speakers. The libraries serve as staging grounds for each party’s causes, the Sun-Times reported.

Lipson doesn’t see his protests going very far. He’s made his case to university officials and professors but most are Obama’s close friends, neighbors and donors, the Sun-Times said.

The Obamas’ home is blocks from the campus.

A biology professor, Michael LaBarbera, told the Sun-Times that “the faculty, as near as I can tell, is divided,” LaBarbera said. “Hopefully, Obama will have another four years, and we won’t have to deal with this for at least five. I worry that if we get too obvious about disagreement here at the University of Chicago, it will wind up in Hawaii. I wouldn’t want to poison the well by having the discussion before its time.”

The University of Hawaii, meanwhile, clearly wants to land Obama’s library. The state’s legislature passed a resolution encouraging Obama, a native of the state, to put the library there.



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