Academic freedom in Mercer Co. NJ

During a February 1 political science class, Michael Glass, an associate professor at Mercer County Community College, “was conducting a discussion of what changes students would propose to the state budget to avoid the expected $2 billion shortfall,” reported Dmirty Gurvits in the college newspaper. “Some students suggested cutting the salaries of what they felt were overpayed [sic] state administrators.”
After Glass mentioneded officials who “double-dip,” the students asked for an example. He cited “several law enforcement officers, including Sheriff Larkin, who collects a Police and Fire Retirement System Pension as well as a government salary”—an $85,000 annual “retirement” pay-out, as well as a $129,634 salary.

Unfortunately, a student who was also a county employee named Pavel Morozov Brooke Seidl texted the sheriff (Isn’t texting during class against the rules? It would be in my class.)

About a half-hour before the class ended, “Sheriff Kevin C. Larkin, dressed in a trenchcoat, opened the door to Prof. Glass’s classroom,” continues Gurvits’s account. The Sheriff, accompanied by a female aide, summoned the teacher to a brief conversation outside the classroom.

When they returned to the room, the professor — with the Sheriff looming no more than “six inches from him,” according to one eyewitness — apologized for “making disparaging comments” about the stainless public servant who had barged into his class.

I agree that Prof. Glass misbehaved. He should have stood before the class, told them of Larkin’s demand for an apology, and refused to give it. It would have been a very vivid display of the true nature of the political system, particularly if Larkin tried to use force then and there.

The legal details of the double-dipping can be found here, and I must admit that I don’t understand them. If a person “retires” from an elective office, doesn’t the office become vacant? I suspect Larkin will “be retired” soon enough.

UPDATE: It looks like somebody took Larkin to the woodshed, and he apologized sorta kinda (like my granddaughter snarls “Sorry!” after she’s been bad)


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