INDISCRETION OR OPPORTUNISM.
Another example has been given of the failure of a student to grasp the fact that class-room lectures are confidential communications. Some of the very fair, though iconoclastic, remarks of Professor Channing were reported to the press and hopelessly twisted and colored. A flagrant instance of the same sort of indiscretion or faithlessness occurred three years ago in connection with an article of Professor Muensterberg's. It had its effect,--almost causing the expulsion of the offender,--but college generations are short, and this may now be forgotten.
To quote from the recent report of the Association of Professors a passage concerning college lectures:
"Such utterances ought always to be considered privileged communications. Discussions in the class-room ought not to be supposed to be utterances for the public at large. They are often designed to provoke opposition or arouse debate. It has, unfortunately, sometimes happened in this country that sensational newspapers have quoted and garbled such remarks. As a matter of common law, it is clear that the utterances of an academic instructor are privileged, and may not be published, in whole or part, without his authorization. But our practice, unfortunately, still differs from that of foreign countries, and no effective check has in this country been put upon, such unauthorized and often misleading publication. It is much to be desired that test cases should be made of any infractions of the rule."
A test case might well be made by the University of the next occurrence of such an act by an irresponsible college reporter.