It never ceases to amaze me how vacuous these 100-faculty academic petitions can be. Cochrane's conclusion is spot on:
Milton Friedman stood for freedom, social, political, and economic. He realized that they are inextricably linked. If the government controls your job or your business, dissent is impossible. He favored, among other things, legalizing drugs, school choice, and volunteer army. To call him or his political legacy "right wing" is simply ignorant, and I mean that also as a technically accurate description rather than an insult.
(Of course, Friedman also has a legacy in economics as a first-rate researcher, which is what the MFI will do and honor. The consumption function and the monetary foundations of inflation, are as important to 20th century economics as the discovery of DNA was to biology, quantum mechanics to physics or plate tectonics to geology. But the letter-writers didn't have anything to say about any of this, so neither will I, here. )
So here's my question: If you're embarrassed by this legacy, if you worry that it will tarnish the University's reputation, just what is it that you good-thinking guys and gals have against human freedom?
Quick, somebody get 100 copies of Capitalism and Freedom to the University of Chicago.