Arthur Brooks first visited Bowdoin College not as a prospective student or a visiting fellow but as a French Horn instructor for the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He was 22 at the time, and was working as a professional musician after dropping out of college at 19.
The appointment of Arthur Brooks was undemocratic. We woke up to an email one day, and that was it. No consultation, no presentation of candidates, nothing. When we praise democracy so much at this school—helping students to vote, promoting voting and encouraging students to voice their demands—this appointment felt completely opposite to the values we propose.
Two days, one night—that’s about how long prospective students on an overnight visit spend getting a taste of Bowdoin’s campus. It’s also about how long the College’s first Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow, Arthur C. Brooks, will be spending at Bowdoin after he arrives on Thursday.
I introduced the motion on the faculty floor requesting that President Clayton Rose provide an account of the process he used to invite Arthur Brooks as the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow. President Rose had not consulted any member of the faculty before doing so, and had thus committed a simple, procedural infraction.
During a faculty meeting on Monday, President Clayton Rose denied that any organization or group external to the College participated in the appointment of former American Enterprise Institute (AEI) president Arthur Brooks as the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow.
The faculty will consider a motion at next Monday’s faculty meeting that would require President Clayton Rose to produce a written account of the process that led to Arthur Brooks’ appointment as the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow.
To the Editor, Opinions about how we should run our economy and society should be welcomed and discussion from multiple viewpoints is important. In that regard, we might be interested to engage with Arthur Brooks. While we may disagree with another viewpoint, it can help to listen and debate.
President Clayton Rose announced last week that Arthur C. Brooks will be the inaugural Joseph McKeen Visiting Fellow next year. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank, represents a commitment to “the Common Good, broadly defined,” said Rose.