Via Leiter, an interesting Academe Online article about BB&T’s gifts-with-strings-attached:
At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for example, three years passed before faculty members learned that a million-dollar gift agreement establishing a new course contained language requiring both that Rand’s lengthy paean to laissez-faire capitalism, Atlas Shrugged, be assigned reading and that professors who teach that course “have a positive interest in and be well versed in Objectivism.”
I went to an Ayn Rand Society meeting at an APA once, mostly out of morbid curiosity, and I remember wondering if some of the big-name contributors (people whose philosophical work is pretty well-known) were paid to be on the panel. (The paper that prompted this had the rough form “Here’s my view of concepts. Of course, Rand also had a view of concepts, but I’m not completely sure I understand it, so let’s move on to my stuff.”) Very weird, not as weird as the society for field-being, but definitely out there.
Also, a post from Leiter on the recently-discussed Mark Taylor. He’s agin’em!