Matthew May According to this snippet in the Chicago Tribune, fewer than 100 seats will be available to a specially selected group of faculty and students when William Ayers shows up at Purdue University Thursday night. Interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Irwin Weiser, whose signature accompanies a form letter sent to those writing the university president regarding the appearance of Ayers on campus, said in that letter: Ayers warrants an invitation to Purdue because "he is a distinguished professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois-Chicago." The forum at which Ayers will speak "is funded by a private endowment. The Cummings-Perrucci lecture fund was created to bring in experts who focus on issues of race and gender. This event was not intended for the general public." In the form letter, Dean Weiser slapped the wrists of alumni writing to protest, and waxed poetic about the benefits the university would enjoy because of inviting just one of many in the diverse mosaic of public speakers lecturing at Purdue: "I'm sorry if you think we should be selecting or censoring speakers based on their past. Purdue faculty and university groups are encouraged to organize lectures and talks because part of the educational experience at a university is to hear a variety of perspectives and discuss ideas, even if they are controversial. "People who will be speaking at Purdue this semester include soldiers, scholars, television executives, businessmen and women, former government cabinet members and educators. They represent a wide spectrum of work and life experience, each with an individual perspective. "Purdue faculty and students are expected to be critical consumers of all ideas, to take what is useful to them and make up their own minds. That applies no matter who the speaker is and is a central tenet for providing a world-class education." One question, Dean: How can Purdue students and faculty be "critical consumers of all ideas" if the vast majority of them out are barred from hearing whatever it is of import this terrorist thinks he has to say? Matthew May welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org American Thinker Blog: The Few. The Proud. The Ayers Audience at Purdue.