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 children.

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.