Shortly before Professor Berthold made his notorious remark about bombing the Pentagon, and it became fashionable to be patriotic, he wrote in the UNM newspaper, known to alumni like myself as the "Daily Lo-Blow":

I love this country. I love the personal freedom and incredibly comfortable material existence it affords me. But most of all, I love the values it stands for, even if my government and fellow citizens sometimes ignore them ...

At a time when people around the country were lining up to take pot-shots at the professor, and legislators were demanding his head and threatening to cut off University funding, a hydrology professor, Michael Campana, wrote a letter to the Albuquerque Journal defending Berthold's right to make an ass of himself. He wasn't the only one, but it meant more. Campana's sister, Ann Judge, died aboard American Airlines Flight 77 when it hit the Pentagon.

Update: Professor Berthold's decision to retire came shortly before announcement of yet another scandal inspired by a Berthold remark. This time, Berthold suggested in an e-mail to a colleague that a swimsuit calendar might be a good fund-raiser for UNM, specifically referring to a female professor who was at the time up for a tenure decision.

It is reported that Professor Berthold will be leaving UNM but still be teaching, giving the occasional lecture in a local tavern.


Jim Belshaw, "Retiring UNM Prof, at the Very Least, Made Us Think" Albuquerque Journal, December 4 , 2002, at B1.

"Recapping Berthold is like having to explain why snow closes schools in New Mexico."