Or, Rodene suggested, the resolution could be written to oppose “the stifling of opposing ideas and their free discussion, without actually naming critical race theory itself.”
A professor emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UNL wrote to Pillen that he “fully agreed” with the resolution.
“Academic freedom has nothing to do with this resolution,” wrote Donald L. Johnson. “The long-term implications for academic freedom are a concern if this resolution is not passed.”
The emails include an explicit opposition to the resolution of a pair of Omaha regents.
Regent Elizabeth O’Connor said legal theory was part of her classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2012 and is still taught on the metro campus.
Responding to an email asking the board to oppose the resolution, O’Connor recalled an analogy made by Rev. John Jenkins at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a law degree.
“He compared a university to a crossroads in a lighthouse,” O’Connor wrote. “As a beacon, the university strives to stand out and examine different illuminating questions with wisdom and deliberate thought.
“But a university is also a crossroads through which people of different perspectives, origins, faiths and cultures pass,” she continued. “At this crossroads, we must be a place where people of good will are received with charity, able to speak, to be heard, and to engage in responsible and reasoned dialogue.