Chicago professor says Confucius Institutes threaten academic freedom
The American Association of University Professors is calling on universities to reconsider their Confucius Institutes, saying they are a barrier to academic freedom. Marshall Sahlins, a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, says the use of institutes in schools raises questions about academic freedom and also makes U.S. universities complicit in cases of discriminatory hiring and censorship. Sahlins recently wrote an article in The Nation criticizing the institutes. In it, he says universities “have become engaged in the political and propaganda efforts of a foreign government in a way that contradicts the values of free inquiry and human welfare to which they are otherwise committed.” Sahlins joins us to explain why he thinks Confucius Institutes should not be affiliated with schools and universities.
(photo: University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides, left, gestures as he is joined by Zhao Ming, center, Vice President of Beijing Language and Culture University and Tan Ye, right, Director of Confucius Institute as they announce a new partnership during a news conference Monday, Nov. 17, 2008, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain))