"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Saturday, March 13, 2004

The Leaning Ivory Tower

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, John J. Miller writes of conservatives on college campuses. He relates a story about an assistant professor at St. Lawrence University who went around campus putting up posters with the message "Republicans: The Other White Meat.
"Elizabeth Wardell, a senior...landed on the sociology department's homepage and read a paragraph about [the assistant professor] Robert J. Torres. Then she clicked on his name and was transported to his personal blog. There, Ms. Wardell--who is president of the local College Republicans--discovered an entry headlined "Fascist, Racist College Republicans."

...The professor denounced everything from "the Saddam s---" (the liberation of Iraq) to "economic policies that favor rich, white f---s" (tax cuts).

"I couldn't believe that one of our professors would write such hateful things," says Ms. Wardell.
Miller goes on to discuss polls that have confirmed the left-leaning nature of the professoriate.
...American Enterprise magazine studied voter-registration rolls and published a survey of professors and their political preferences. At Stanford University, 151 professors were aligned with parties of the left (e.g., Democrats, Greens) and 17 were affiliated with parties of the right (Republicans, Libertarians). Similar disparities were recorded everywhere researchers looked: Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Penn State, UCLA, etc. A separate review of Ivy League academics found that 84% of them voted for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, compared with 9% for George W. Bush and 6% for Ralph Nader.
Miller also informs us that the Academic Bill of Rights proposed by David Horowitz is opposed by the American Association of University Professors.

Here are excerpts from the eight articles of the Academic Bill of Rights:
...No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of his or her political or religious beliefs.

Students will [not] be graded...on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.

Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should...provid[e] students with dissenting sources and viewpoints where appropriate.

...Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.

Selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers programs and other student activities will observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.

...[A]cademic institutions and professional societies should maintain a posture of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive disagreements that divide researchers on questions within, or outside, their fields of inquiry.
It's easy to see why professors would reject such conservative hogwash!