Ferris Professor Makes National Headlines
Barry Mehler took a
stand, and his colleagues listened.
Mehler, an associate professor of humanities
at Ferris State, has made national headlines with his recent criticism
of the American Psychological Foundation's (APF) choice of psychologist
Raymond B. Cattell for a lifetime achievement award.
Cattell, 92, has specialized in intelligence
measurement and personality theory with many of his standard tests
in use today. Mehler, founder of the Institute for the Study of
Academic Racism (ISAR), maintains Cattell has long held the view
that groups with low intelligence should be prevented from having
The American Psychological Association (APA)
had planned on presenting Cattell with the award at its annual
meeting in Chicago, August 16. The organization has postponed
the award while a blue-ribbon panel of senior research scientists
appointed by the APF investigates Cattell's writings.
Mehler's protest has stirred up national publicity
in the New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Reuters,
and the Associated Press. Mehler has been interviewed by
radio giant WBAI in New York and has received numerous inquiries
into the Cattell issue through his ISAR web site. Incorporated
in 1993, ISAR has gained a reputation as a reliable source of
information. As one civil rights activist put it, "ISAR has
become a force to be reckoned with."
"ISAR created this story and it's far from
over," Mehler said. "It is gratifying to see my Institute
attain this level of credibility in so short a time. I will be
monitoring the investigation of the blue-ribbon committee."
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie
Wiesel was the keynote speaker at the APA's Chicago convention
and publicly supported Mehler's criticism of the APA in his keynote
speech. Wiesel, an Auschwitz survivor, is a world-renowned writer,
teacher and spokesman for the oppressed.
"Consulting with Elie Wiesel was a something
very special for me," Mehler said. "At the age of 50,
I feel that I am making an important transition in my life."
Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation
League, also drafted a letter to APA asking the organization to
reconsider the Cattell award.