The Dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology has weighed in on the debate over the Bush Presidential library’s being built on SMU’s campus (see my previous posts). In a lengthy presentation (read it here), the Rev. Dr. William B. Lawrence clarifies the extent of the faculty’s opposition to the Bush Library.
The Presidential Library includes three components: (1) the library itself, which will include the important historical documents from Bush’s presidency, (2) a museum, with artifacts from Bush’s presidency, (3) and a policy institute that reflects Bush’s brand of conservatism. According to Lawrence, the dissenting faculty members do not object to the first two items, but to the third. These faculty members are concerned that the policy institute will stifle the atmosphere of free inquiry that is required for a university.
Dr. Lawrence’s presentation is illuminating for sure, but the debate goes on. Those opposed to the library appear to be in the minority, and it looks like the library is a done deal.