The Marxist of Cobb County

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The president of Georgia’s Kennesaw State University, Daniel Papp, is now defending his choice for university provost, Timothy Chandler.

Papp hired Chandler, now senior associate provost for academic affairs at Ohio’s Kent State University, to be Kennesaw’s provost in February.

But some Georgians were uncomfortable with Chandler. According to an article by Janel Davis in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Timothy Chandler had been criticized in a local newspaper recently for espousing Marxist ideas in a 1998 academic critique about university reform models he co-authored with a fellow Kent State professor.

After talking with Chandler about his 1998 work, “I am convinced that [Chandler] is neither Marxist nor anti-American, as some have alleged,” Papp said in a statement released Wednesday.

According to a piece in the Marietta Daily Journal, “though Marx is mentioned by name only a few times in their magnum opus, they seem to have swallowed Marxist theory hook, line and sinker.”

Yes, this is really happening. People are worried because the provost once quoted Karl Marx, an economist now widely cited for his perception of the nature of capitalism and organizational behavior.

But then, apparently “many will argue the fact that a team of academics could read such a paper and see its Marxist worldview as no big deal is indicative of how prevalent such thinking is in the faculty lounges at some campuses,” according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Yes, first Kennesaw, then the world. Duck and cover, kids.

Chandler’s article, which addresses how structural change occurs in the American university, was published in the January/February 1998 issue of the Journal of Higher Education. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer