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Professor protests Obama visit

A University of Wisconsin – Madison political science professor lambasted President Barack Obama’s campus visit today, saying it effectively shut down school, violated students’ privacy, and wrongly endorsed the Obama candidacy, among other complaints.

He is one of several high-profile political science professors at the campus to complain, reports the Althouse blog.

Political science professor Kenneth Mayer says Obama’s visit completely upsets him and raises several serious issues, and he cites those problems in a letter to campus officials, parts of which have been posted on Althouse:

For one, to get a ticket to the event, students must give their contact information and cell phone number.

“In a very real sense, we are forcing them to become participants in the campaign and express their support for the campaign,” Mayer states. “Should (the university) be in the business of helping a campaign farm thousands of email addresses?”

Mayer goes on to express his frustration over how the visit effectively closes school for the day, noting “it hardly seems appropriate to shut the central campus down for an entire day, closing offices and seriously disrupting our mission. I have several colleagues who had scheduled exams for Thursday.”

Mayer also criticizes how some campus employees will have to “take a vacation or personal day, arrange to work at another location on campus, or work at home” because of the visit.

Finally,  he sums it up by saying the visit is somewhat akin to a university endorsement:

“It is not a Presidential visit. It is not a Presidential speech. It is a campaign event.”

In another Althouse blog, it was reported the Obama campaign paid the school $15,000 to host the rally.

To read the entire Mayer blog post, click here.

To read the blog on the costs of the rally, click here.

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