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Letter to the Editor: The role of the Hoover Institution

The recent debate over the role of the Hoover Institution at Stanford gives me a sense of deja vu. As an undergraduate at Stanford in the early 2000s, other students and I argued that the Hoover Institution’s mission statement and ideological commitments were at odds with the university’s broadest educational goals, and rebutted the most common defenses of the Hoover Institute’s politics in the Daily’s own pages 16 years ago (“Campaign seeks to separate politics from Hoover Institute,” in the Feb. 25, 2003 issue). Partly as a result of student pressure on the matter, I was invited to attend a Faculty Senate meeting as an observer. During that meeting, then director John Raisian – who I have a great deal of personal respect for – responded to a question by Prof. Debra Satz about hiring polices, saying, “We probably wouldn’t hire a Marxist.” That seemed, to me, like a blatant admission of political bias. Yet it was not enough to force a change in the relationship between the institute and the university, which has proven to be a source of tension again and again. Hopefully the more recent controversies will generate the will to put the university and Hoover on a different and mutually beneficial path forward.

— Calvin Cheung-Miaw ’03, PhD Candidate in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature
Contact Calvin Cheung-Miaw at calvin.miaw ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

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