Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scholarly discourse

In a move that surprised [Milton Friedman] Institute advocates, [University of Chicago] economics professor James Heckman, a member of the Institute’s faculty committee, said during a public panel Tuesday that he was open to the possibility of changing the Institute’s name, a proposal that several colleagues firmly rejected. ...

Some of Heckman’s comments set off alarm bells for his fellow Institute committee member, GSB professor John Cochrane, who has long argued that the Institute will maintain academic integrity.

In an e-mail to Heckman, Cochrane wrote, “My strong, personal suggestion is that you are digging yourself deeper and deeper into public statements that you will regret. Now, not only is Friedman’s name expendable, the GSB political, but President [Robert] Zimmer ’rushed this through.’ He’ll be delighted to see that in print. You may have long, convoluted explanations, but that won’t do much good when this sort of thing gets out.” ...

Heckman e-mailed Cochrane a terse response to his concerns: “Screw off, John,” he said.
--Sara Jerome, Chicago Maroon, on drama in Chicago

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