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Slouching Towards Irrelevance

More proof (if it was still needed) that the left is trying their best to make themselves irrelevant.

Ohio Republicans are trying to pass an 'Academic Bill of Rights' protecting both students and professors against political discrimination. Here are some of the 'controversial' things they are seeking:

Those rights include:

-- "a learning environment in which the students have access to a broad range of serious scholarly opinion pertaining to the subjects they study." That includes "dissenting sources and viewpoints."

-- grading based on students' "reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge" of the subjects they study. The bill says students will not be discriminated against because of political, ideological, or religious beliefs. And it says faculty "shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination."

-- freedom from the persistent introduction of "controversial matter" into the coursework that has no bearing on the subject at hand.

-- freedom of speech, assembly, and expression, when it comes to student organizations.

-- distribution of student fees "on a viewpoint neutral basis."

The bill also says faculty members "shall be hired, fired, and granted tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in their field of expertise and shall not be hired, fired, promoted, granted tenure, or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of their political, ideological, or religious beliefs."

Who would be against such a bill protecting academic freedoms?

The ACLU of course.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the bill would "censor" Ohio colleges and universities because it could be used to "curtail academic freedom and to encourage thought policing in our institutes of higher education."

The ACLU will now argue any position, as long as a Republican or a Boy Scout is on the other side.


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Comments (50)

"academic" freedom? Where d... (Below threshold)

"academic" freedom? Where does the ACLU come up with this trash?

Look, I can see what's tryi... (Below threshold)

Look, I can see what's trying to be done, and I applaud the thought, but it's not entirely workable. This in particular ("And it says faculty "shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination.") is not realistic since in some classes, particularly a humanities subject like English Lit, there is no way to even read (let alone discuss) a piece in some magically neutral way. Drawing the line between "indoctrination" and "interpretation" can become quite impossible to draw in many cases.

The only solution is for more conservatives to infiltrate the teaching ranks, period.

Entrenched communist profes... (Below threshold)

Entrenched communist professors with tenure can easily slough off the conservative professors trying to make a name for themselves.

I agree, though, it, like all "bills" made for this, will be really hard to interpret practically in many cases. Some courses (and programs) are so skewed its not even funny. Shall they do away with "women's studies" completely?

Paul, I have to agree with ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Paul, I have to agree with some of the other commenters here, this bill just seems stupid and almost impossible to enforce. Since when does the government ever have the right answer to situations like this.

The right way to rid our universities of its leftist bias is to expose and document those universities and professors who are the biggest offenders. Try and make the public aware of the federal money these universities are getting and spending in unfair ways. Hold them up to public scrutiny, like FIRE is doing now. Keeping the kids and subsequently money out of the universities pockets will send a better message.

Just read this VDH piece on... (Below threshold)

Just read this VDH piece on academia. You should too.

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson101303.html

the ACLU is teetering on th... (Below threshold)
Rob:

the ACLU is teetering on the same precipice as the Democratic party...they just don't know it yet. After the democrats pass into irrelevance, the good people of this country will then scrutinize other leftist organizations like the ACLU and then allow them to wither and decay, infested with their own self-hatred and self-loathing. It's just a matter of time........

Well, the bill has a huge s... (Below threshold)
JP:

Well, the bill has a huge scope and that's it's problem.

"freedom from the persistent introduction of "controversial matter" into the coursework that has no bearing on the subject at hand"

It's a professors course and it's their decision on how they teach the material. This bill would make any comment liable for protest. I don't think anyone should have to teach under those circumstances, no matter their political bent. Who determines what is controversial? Who determines what is off subject? It opens the doors for repression, not to mention a whole new level of bureaucracy. I technically agree with the ideas in this, but it is far too broad to be inacted.

Also, please note that the ACLU fights for anyone they feel is having their rights infringed on. Your comment that they only fight against the right is misleading. (Case in point: they fought for Rush Limbaugh)

-JP

I understand the objections... (Below threshold)

I understand the objections of some commenters here, but I'd like to point out that the bill is related to course content and hiring, and not at all to research. Making professors accountable to the university, who pays them to teach particular things in a particular course, for course content doesn't seem like a bad thing to be.

This bill does NOT restrict anyone's research, and therefore does not restrict academic freedom. Academic freedom does not include the right to teach whatever you want in a course, nor does it include the right to not hire or discriminate against coworkers who disagree with you.

Plus it doesn't make professors accountable to the law, it makes them accountable to the university, who is bloody well paying them. And for that matter, makes the university accountable to the students, who are bloody well paying them.

http://www.aclearvoice.org/archives/2005/02/a_bill_the_aclu.php

"This bill does NOT restric... (Below threshold)
JP:

"This bill does NOT restrict anyone's research, and therefore does not restrict academic freedom."

I don't understand this statement at all. Maybe we have a different definition of academic freedom, but I think it applies to how you teach your course.

For example...
What if a professor made comments that criticized southern slave-owning whites in the pre-Civil war days? That could be offensive and controversial to a lot of people. Would this professor have to face charges?

And another - I took a "Drugs and Society" in college. The professor often followed the history of the United State's drug policies. Very often, specific administrations were praised and criticized. (Like the failure of Reagan's war of drugs) Would this professor have to change his entire class structure?

Professors are given a lot of freedom to choose what they want to teach and how they teach it. They are not always assigned specific topics - they have a certain degree of freedom. For me, this falls under academic freedom. This bill could infringe on that. And a student has freedom too. He can choose not to go to a class, or withdrawl or disagree with a professor literally and vocally.

-JP

Actually the ACLU will argu... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Actually the ACLU will argue any position as long as it is agains America and the Bill of rights. They claim to support both but ask potential gun owners which side the ACLU supports. Do they even know about the 10th Ammendment? To call them supporters of the Bill of Rights is to call JFK and Teddy supporters of American security.

Holding the "professors" ac... (Below threshold)
TheEnigma:

Holding the "professors" accountable is almost impossible. Look at the mess at U of Colarado. Students, as usual with a slanted view of reality, are supporting churchill while ignoring the outlandishness of his comments. churchill was granted tenure partially because of his "political activism". UC failed to properly examine his past and if some of it was examined, churchill was give a pass due to his "activism". Print and boradcast media will, as usual, ignore any problems unless they relate to Conservatives.

Even today, many liberal media outlets are attacking anyone who calls for actions against churchill. Liberal professors often berate conservative students, often to the point of denying them an "education" by driving them out of the class.

How it can be accomplished, I'm not sure, but some how, some way, standards must be established and someone, within or most likely outside the institution, will have to ensure these standards are followed. Public eduation must be returned to the people and taken away from the lunatic fringe that seeks to convnice the students that everything that is wrong with the world can be laid directly at the feet of the US.

I think the issue with Chur... (Below threshold)
JP:

I think the issue with Churchill's is a good example of academic freedom. He's allowed to say what he wants in his writings. It's freedom of speech. You can't fire someone who says something offensive. Like many of the "slanted" students I have seen interviewed, I don't agree with his ideas, but I would fight to the death to defend his right to say them.

However, if it's true he committed fraud, he should be fired. I don't get why this gets 24/7 coverage since it's 3 years old, but conservative media loves this kind of stuff.

"Liberal professors often berate conservative students, often to the point of denying them an "education" by driving them out of the class."

I've never, ever heard of this. If you can give me a couple examples, I would love to see them.

-JP

I found a site offering pri... (Below threshold)
Mirramele:

I found a site offering primary sources on Ward Churchill
and thought you might be interested

http://www.pirateballerina.com/index.php

The documents and information are organized and indexed by topic:

1. all the pdf files from the American Indian Movement Documents on Churchill
2. the pdf fils of academic research demonstrating academic fraud found in his research
3. very old interviews with Churchill over his battle with AIM, his claim to Indian ancestry, his road to tenure and so forth.
4. records of Churchills publishers and their descriptions of goals and their reputation

It's set up for easy access

Most of it cannot be found through a google search but was accumulated by a combined research effort. Anyone wishing to use the documents for further research on Mr. Churchill may help themselves.

JP: I have experienced it f... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

JP: I have experienced it first-hand (in high school, no less). About a year ago there was a long thread at Sgt. Stryker with many first-hand accounts of students who have been punished by their schools for holding incorrect political views. At many schools, it happens every day. You either keep your mouth shut and regurgitate the professor's position, or you flunk.

Gee whiz, let's see, just w... (Below threshold)

Gee whiz, let's see, just what kind of people will the ACLU defend, well there's Jerry Falwel, the ACKU defended him, and a conservative economics professor in Nevada who said something about gays in his class and offended some student. So I guess on balance it kind of works out.

JP,Its in the news b... (Below threshold)
susan:

JP,
Its in the news because he was getting paid speaking engagments and one in New York where the Eichmann's worked and died.
Just google "academic bias" and you will be up to your ears in examples. The fact that there are 3 documentaries on this topic that I know of should go for something.
Free speech is supressed at our universities.

ccwbass and Mike: I've seen... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

ccwbass and Mike: I've seen this bill described elsewhere as a "shot across the bow", and that's probably how it is intended. It isn't a bill really meant to pass, and my prediction is that it will eventually die in committee without ever coming to a floor vote. (Or else, get revised so drastically that the eventual version that comes up doesn't resemble what it is now.) I agree with you that most of the bill as it is currently written is unenforceable. But that isn't really the point.

ccw, the problem with the university is the entrenched leftists have complete control over the hiring process. Conservatives haven't made their way in because they can't get past the leftist gatekeepers. It's their party and they aren't letting in anyone but their friends. This Ohio bill is a very clear warning. It won't pass, but the next bill that comes up might be something much more substantial. For example, the next bill might take the hiring and tenure process out of the university's hands, and vest that authority in a "school board" whose members are elected and accountable to the public. That bill will pass, and it will be enforceable.

Mirramele, I really can't t... (Below threshold)
Joser:

Mirramele, I really can't take the site you recommend even with a grain of salt. What reputable information source would have Ann Coulter's website as a recommended link. That woman is a propoganda whore like nobody's business. The first thing I saw on her website was a criticism about John Kerry fabricating his war experience. Who still in their right mind still contends his war experience?

Wouldn't you know it? Paul... (Below threshold)
s9:

Wouldn't you know it? Paul took the effort of posting this article but he neglected to give us a link to the full text of the bill.

One shouldn't have any illusions about how he cherry-picked the text to put on the front page.

From the bill: ...each private institution of higher education [...] shall adopt a grievance procedure by which a student, faculty member, or instructor may seek redress for an alleged violation of any of the rights specified by the institution's policy adopted under [the previous section].

That's the part of the bill that takes puts a committee of state bureaucrats into the position of acting as minders and thought police for college classrooms, and that's what this bill is about. If you doubt it, you need only look at who is promoting this effort with the most enthusiasm.

Paul is doing a great disservice to his readers by not disclosing that David Horowitz is the main agitator behind all these "Academic Bill of Rights For Higher Education" efforts, and it would help to know what kind of guy we're talking about. Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of FrontPage Magazine, a openly neo-Leninist hatesheet that has a particular axe to grind against Muslims. It's published articles with titles like "Why Islam Can't Join the Modern World," "Why Islam Hates Democracy," "Islam Uber Alles," "Islam's Immigrant Invasion of Europe," "Kerry's Secret Muslim Connections," "US Muslims Stalk More Infidels," and "Black Muslim Traitors." He also wrote a book called "Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left."

Why is Paul helping to promote the works of this stark-raving religious bigot?

JP-In regards to y... (Below threshold)

JP-

In regards to your example
"What if a professor made comments that criticized southern slave-owning whites in the pre-Civil war days? That could be offensive and controversial to a lot of people. Would this professor have to face charges?"

As I said on my blog,

The bill does say, "Faculty and instructors shall not infringe the academic freedom and quality of education of their students by persistently introducing controversial matter into the classroom or coursework that has no relation to their subject of study and that serves no legitimate pedagogical purpose." Therefore, controversial matter is defined as something not related to their subject of study and not seen as legitimate in the greater academic community. It's not like teaching evolution in a biology class will now be illegal, even though it is controversial, since evolution is pertinent to biology, and the academic community sees it as legitimate, though not without controversy.

Criticism of slave owners during the Civil war is also related to the subject of study, and seen as legitimate in the greater academic study.


And this:
And another - I took a "Drugs and Society" in college. The professor often followed the history of the United State's drug policies. Very often, specific administrations were praised and criticized. (Like the failure of Reagan's war of drugs) Would this professor have to change his entire class structure?

Again, this is related to the course's subject of study. And as long as it's couched in terms of actual data/studies and not JUST opinion, it wouldn't at all be against the clause.

"And a student has freedom too. He can choose not to go to a class, or withdrawl or disagree with a professor literally and vocally."

A student can not withdraw from a course if it is required for his degree. And disagreeing with a professor is not good enough if the professor is "grading on opinion," something that is also addressed in the bill.

And finally, I still don't see course material as something that is covered by academic freedom. Certainly I don't want to see professors afraid to express any of their opinions, but I don't think that's what the bill is intending, and I don't think that will be it's effect. And for pete's sake, there's plunty of examples of conservatives being required to toe a liberal line in class. See this for example,

http://winstonsdiary.blogspot.com/2004/07/being-forced-to-teach-ehrenreich-plea.html

and if you want more examples of this and all sorts of other academic bias problems, I could find them. Take a look at the entire FIRE website.

http://www.thefire.org/

s9-Guess what, lot... (Below threshold)

s9-

Guess what, lots of schools already have, "committees of state bureaucrats into the position of acting as minders and thought police for college classrooms" Again, see here as an example:

http://winstonsdiary.blogspot.com/2004/07/being-forced-to-teach-ehrenreich-plea.html

It's just that they're doing it for liberals, without taking into consideration any greviances of any faculty or students.

joser- ok, please ju... (Below threshold)
susan:

joser-
ok, please just google for an example of the bias. I mean, do you want me to find the DU link that proves there is bias? Isn't going to be a conservative cause? Would you wait until white people said discrimination was wrong to believe it was? Please.
And also, for the record, there is PLENTY of reasons for a person to dispute JF'nK's war history.
And plenty of respected people who dispute it. But I am sure that you have no trouble believing that Bush record was tainted with no eveidence...

"As I said on my blog..."<b... (Below threshold)
JP:

"As I said on my blog..."
Raina: I don't know which blog you are talking about. The only thing I read was just a few selective sentences that proved the right-wing p.o.v. on this Wizbang blog.

But let me readdress this if I didn't make myself clear. My problem with the bill is that it implies censorship and their are no clear guidelines for a review of questionable speech. If I am pro-confederate and pro-slavery I might think the professor opinions are controversial. The professor could be making an analogy I just don't get. It may seem off subject. Do I make a complaint?

"A student can not withdraw from a course if it is required for his degree"

Almost all schools have rotating professors - I can't think of any higher-ed institution I've ever been a part of that didn't. If you do your research you can avoid specific professors that say things you don't like. If none are up to your standards, you get your transfer credits somewhere else. I had to do this, it was easy.

And you are correct, there are plenty of teachers (and like the one you brought up, they are mostly lower rung) who are required to teach certain books. However, the article you presented does not really make a point about bias. He's not even a professor!

However, if an instructor disagrees with the content of the book, which is very often, than the professor can address this within the class, or if that is not available, within the discussion section of the class. I can name several classes in which a professor didn't agree with a certain author in a required text. He would bring it up and we would think about it and usually write about it.

Example: I took a class regarding socialism and we read Marx. The professor didn't agree with Marx on many issues and told us why. So can any instructor!

And here is where I think there is some confusion:
at the beginning of the post you state that:
"and as long as it's couched in terms of actual data/studies and not JUST opinion, it wouldn't at all be against the clause."

But then you say later:
"Certainly I don't want to see professors afraid to express any of their opinions"

Real murky area.

-JP

s9Give me a break. ... (Below threshold)
susan:

s9
Give me a break. You should read Unholy Alliance before you say anything about it.
I think that even you can't argue that Wahabbism is a dangerous ideology.
He isn't a bigot. People use Islam to advance terrorist ideology and last time I checked it was ok to hate terrorists.
Thanks to Paul that he didn't submit to the PC police.

JP - Clicking on a... (Below threshold)

JP -

Clicking on a name goes to whatever website the person has entered, if any.

"But let me readdress this if I didn't make myself clear. My problem with the bill is that it implies censorship and their are no clear guidelines for a review of questionable speech. If I am pro-confederate and pro-slavery I might think the professor opinions are controversial. The professor could be making an analogy I just don't get. It may seem off subject. Do I make a complaint?"

Yes, you could very well make a complaint. But since your complaint does not meet the requirements, as the subject is related to the subject and is seen as legitamate in the academic community, it would be ignored.

"And you are correct, there are plenty of teachers (and like the one you brought up, they are mostly lower rung) who are required to teach certain books. However, the article you presented does not really make a point about bias. He's not even a professor!"

Yes, and if he says too many conservative things, he probably never will be. See the clause on hiring based on political views.

"Almost all schools have rotating professors - I can't think of any higher-ed institution I've ever been a part of that didn't. If you do your research you can avoid specific professors that say things you don't like. If none are up to your standards, you get your transfer credits somewhere else. I had to do this, it was easy."

Oh yeah, I pay good money to go to school, but I should be required to professor shop and get transfer credits to get the courses I need without having to toe some professor's line.

"Example: I took a class regarding socialism and we read Marx. The professor didn't agree with Marx on many issues and told us why. So can any instructor!"

Yes, and according to the bill since that is related to the course material, that would be fine.

"And here is where I think there is some confusion:
at the beginning of the post you state that:
"and as long as it's couched in terms of actual data/studies and not JUST opinion, it wouldn't at all be against the clause."
But then you say later:
"Certainly I don't want to see professors afraid to express any of their opinions""

Let me correct myself, the first thing I said was wrong. Any opinion expressed would be fine. The bill doesn't say anything about opinions, it talks about controversial subjects not related to the course and not legitimate in the academic community. I don't see anything in the language that would prevent anyone from expressing an opinion, so long as students are not graded on work based on THEIR opinion.

I think the best way to hel... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the best way to help education is to dump tenure.

I don't know how much this would amount to censorship, but I very much like the part of the bill that requires grading to be based on the students knowledge of the subject and not based on the positions they take, and to not be subject to redicule or a higher standard because of their political or religoius beliefs etc.

I had a tenured biology proffessor in college who was an absolute ass. He was very anti religious, and made it a point to criticize Christianity especially at any point. While he didn't grade based on religious belief (it was a huge intro course, no papers, it was all multiple choice, and it was unlikely he was going to know your religious belief if you didn't bring it up), he certainly created an uncomfortable environment for Christian students. There were several complaints made on this issue, but the college pretty much ignored them, blew them off, I figure because he was tenured it was too much trouble to fire him.

- joser - you must be livin... (Below threshold)

- joser - you must be living on a different planet if you think "there are no remaining questions concerning LurchKerry's service records".... Are you serious....If you are, you need to check yourself into the nearest drug clinic....That statement is so laughable it doesn't even deserve responding to....You really need to get yourself out of denial.... Some of your own far lefty moonbats have finally come out and admitted he lied.... even to them.....See the statements of Soros just for starters.... The day that AH lying sack of monkey dung signs that pesky form 180 and releases ALL of his records without "checking for what is and what isn't in the record" ( a pavaricating statement that a 6 year old would spot) AND his discharges... all three versions... I will personally post a retraction.... Riiiigggghhht.... I got your "no remaining questions" right here..... It will never happen in your lifetime or mine.... wake up.... whats the point in backing a loser....

Sorry, I don't understand t... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Sorry, I don't understand these references to academic freedom and censorship. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives pampered college professors any more of a right to free speech than their students, their janitors, or anyone else. They are mere employees of businesses that should be subject to the same rules as everyone else.

As for those rules, government regulates businesses in any overbearing way that government sees fit. They legislate affirmative action policies, medical care policies, and everything else. And the businesses themselves implement their own policies, within the rules set by government.

Screw the college professors and their precious tenure system. Mere mortals, who consistute everyone else in the world, don't have the right to say any f**cking thing we want to while on the job, particularly those who drink from the public trough.

susan writes: Gim... (Below threshold)
s9:

susan writes: Gimme a break. [...David Horowitz] isn't a bigot. [...]

Wouldn't you like to think so? But the case against him is pretty strong. See here and here for a couple of noteworthy summaries of the argument that Horowitz is a racist and a religious bigot.

The guy is trying to sell the utterly ludicrous proposition that "the American Left" is a Fifth Column in league with Islamic terrorists. In service to that effort, he is willing to use highly eliminationalist rhetoric to argue that the very act of expressing dissent from the Party line on the Iraq War™ and the so-called Global War On Terror is an act of sedition.

Now, why would he want to that? Simple: he's itching for the day when a few prominent figures in the Left can be rounded up and publicly hanged in a sports arena as enemies of "authentic" Americans, to send the message into every home and school that the "Left" will no longer be suffered to live in peace among us unless they can make a convincing conversion to the new neo-Leninist cult of revolutionary consciousness. He won't say anything like that out loud, of course, but it's pretty hard to imagine what other ends he has in mind. And he won't say what ends he really does have in mind.

I don't understand how anybody here can bring themselves to defend him.

I think this thread was ori... (Below threshold)
epador:

I think this thread was originally about a bill trying to fight back (in a blustery and probably inappropriate manner) again college education content/grades being based on subjective agenda versus objective unbiased content.

My son, who is about as left-leaning as you can get without being horizontal, was flunked out of a Women's Studies course (he was the only guy) for challenging the lesbo-radical statements of his prof in class and sticking to his guns. This at the U of MI (no surprise to me, but a wake up call for him). I reviewed the hard data he had, and complimented him on the restraint he showed by not filing complaints, etc. He just took his licks and learned a little about the academic system.

I like the best idea noted far above, which is to expose and put continuous pressure on the offenders, or boycott the institutions. But then we'd have to start a lot of home schooling for higher education.

Maybe if employers and post-graduate schools would start recognizing the value, or lack of value, of certain degrees from certain institutions when making selections, we'd see a real change.

Raina writes: Gue... (Below threshold)
s9:

Raina writes: Guess what, lots of schools already have, "committees of state bureaucrats into the position of acting as minders and thought police for college classrooms" Again, see here as an example.

Gee, I see no committee of "state bureaucrats" acting as minders and thought police in that diatribe. I just see an adjunct professor whinging about not having the authority and responsibility that comes with having a position in management.

There is a huge difference between the process Winston is complaining about and the process proposed in the text of this bill, which would take away a lot of power over the curriculum (among other critical aspects of the educational process) out of the hands of educators and put it into the hands of political apparatchiks appointed by the board of trustees.

And it's clear that you understand the difference, too. You said, "It's just that they're doing it for liberals..."

I think what you didn't say— but you meant nevertheless— was that, if you can't replace the liberal academics with patriotically correct Party apparatchiks of your neo-Leninist variety, then you'll be satisfied if you can subordinate their power to a claque of petty bureaucrats that you can get appointed by the board of trustees. It's the same difference, as far as you're concerned.

See, the tip-off was when you decided not to argue that the grievance committees required by this bill would not be acting as thought police and minders for the classroom. Instead, you argued that you would rather not bother with academic freedom, and just have thought police and minders aligned with the Party to police the liberal professors and what they teach in the classroom.

epador writes: Ma... (Below threshold)
s9:

epador writes: Maybe if employers and post-graduate schools would start recognizing the value, or lack of value, of certain degrees from certain institutions when making selections, we'd see a real change.

Careful there. You wouldn't want to be fingered as an enemy of free enterprise. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason there are so many liberal professors in academia is that a lot of employers would rather hire graduates from those colleges instead of ones where the professors are all right-wing nutjobs?

Of course, if you were able to apply the correct pressure to the right large employers, you might be able to do something about that. You might, however, need something more effective than simply trying to get a consumer boycott of companies like IBM because they hire too many U Mich grads and pay them good salaries...

Have you thought about positioning snipers on the rooftops?

- s9 you're not bringing an... (Below threshold)

- s9 you're not bringing anything to the party....you're arguing both sides of the street just like your beloved LurchKerry, and you see where that got him.... but knock yourself out......

- I don't see guys like Churchill as the problem.....I see that lack of counterpoise to his blather as a problem.... Its one thing to say...."Well heres my opinion....."....Its another to teach something as factual..... thats what I think is pissing people off.... leftturd profs gravitate to campuses because they have no counter to their rhetoric... thats not right, and as a tax payer I have the right to object and demand fair and balanced presentations in the classroom.... If he wants to stand on a street corner and spew his hate for everything American then more power to him..... but not in public schools....

- Aside from that its coming out hes a snake oil salesman anyway, and his cridentials are now showing some big leaky holes so maybe the problem will be taken care of shortly.....

Raina: thanks for the tip o... (Below threshold)
JP:

Raina: thanks for the tip on name-linking.
"Yes, you could very well make a complaint."

I think this is also a deterrent to a professor speaking his mind. Who has time to grade papers, teach classes and deal with complaints daily? Students have a right to address a grievance, but I can imagine where this would lead. This bill would lead to abuse on both sides - left and right.

"Yes, and if he says too many conservative things, he probably never will be (a professor)"

This is implying that you can't be a professor if you have conservative views. While it is a statistical fact that the most educated people in the country vote progressive, holding conservative views does not negate you from being a professor. I had plenty and know several personally. And see Glenn Reyonlds.

Is anyone else disturbed by the recent attacks on our academia? I hate to bring it up, but when the academics in a society become scapegoats for problems, it only leads to bad things...

-JP

You mean like EXTREME left ... (Below threshold)

You mean like EXTREME left like COMMUNISM and SOCIALISM?

Academics and professionals were the first to go under Mao.

s9
"Careful there. You wouldn't want to be fingered as an enemy of free enterprise. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason there are so many liberal professors in academia is that a lot of employers would rather hire graduates from those colleges instead of ones where the professors are all right-wing nutjobs?"
I disagree. I think that there are more liberal professors out there because most conservative people who go through school end up DOING something. I'm studying mechanical engineering and I plan on going out and being an engineer. Maybe someday I might teach, but at the most high school physics. Hippies have taken over campuses nationwide after their heyday of the 60's. Campuses in the 60's probably had a more conservative bent to it (the G.I. Generation were probably the administration and professors, and we all know they were the most conservative of any bunch), so the hippies never bothered getting jobs, they just stuck around in school and kept "free thinking" and beat-nicking until they became professors, and then got tenure, and then became administration.

JP:
While it is a statistical fact that the most educated people in the country vote progressive, holding conservative views does not negate you from being a professor
Your statement leads readers of your comment to believe that educated = smart, intelligent, and therefore if you're smart, you must vote progressive. If you're not educated, you're dumb as a whip, why you must be conservative.
I will say that its half and half. You cite statistics, but I bet that those polls and statistics are meaningless, because their data pool is of a certain area, of people within a certain time frame of their lives. People going to college are at the most left-leaning part of their lives. My older sister was originally a liberal when she started at UCLA. She is now a tried-and-true Dr.Laura and Rush Limbaugh listener, and conservative as the "bible belt". I bet those polls were taken at "campuses" where the majority of the population there was liberal anyway.

- Who was it that said...."... (Below threshold)

- Who was it that said...."If you're 23 and not a liberal you have no heart....If you're 45 and not a conservative you have no brains"......

God.... (Below threshold)
McCain:

God.

Henry wrote: I di... (Below threshold)
s9:

Henry wrote: I disagree. I think that there are more liberal professors out there because most conservative people who go through school end up DOING something.

Wow. That is a phenomenal ability for disregarding the obvious you've got there...

Free clue for you: there are a whole lot more left-of-center people in America than there are chairs for tenured professors in colleges and universities. Clearly, most left-of-center people transition into industry after graduating university, just like everyone else. It's amazing that this fact seems not to have occurred to you.

Are you sure an engineering program is the right direction for you? The upper division courses tend to require an aptitude for mathematics that you seem not to possess.

The ACLU writing that this ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

The ACLU writing that this bill (or anything else) could be used for purposes of "encouraging thought policing" seems so implausibly wrong.

I mean, whattheheck, again, does the ACLU actually DO? And, what about that there statement of theirs?!? If that's not an indicatiion of "thought policing" in and of itself, by the ACLU, as are their many other activities, I just don't know what IS.

(Allow me to write an expla... (Below threshold)
-S-:

(Allow me to write an explanation here for s9 and others of shared perspectives: it's possible for someone to be lucid and well versed in composition and to actually, otherwise, write in a theatrical sense otherwise -- which, actually, requires a certain skill, 'that there' level of creative writing.)

I thought I'd offer that up before MY "aptitude" was maligned, just to sorta hit them off at the pass (there, I wrote creatively again).

I love it when liberals fail to perceive the obvious. I hope this explanation helps.

s9THERE WILL BE NO... (Below threshold)

s9

THERE WILL BE NO THOUGHT POLICE. The bill specifically refers to controversial topics not related to the subject material and not legitimate in the academic community. It says nothing about opinions or thoughts. And it says nothing about a committee to lay out course content, it simply provides a grievance procedure. How terrible to have a grievance procedure to deal with students complaints! That's like communism or something.

"Free clue for you: there are a whole lot more left-of-center people in America than there are chairs for tenured professors in colleges and universities. Clearly, most left-of-center people transition into industry after graduating university, just like everyone else. It's amazing that this fact seems not to have occurred to you."

Wow, great grasp of statistics you have there. If, lets say, 75% of the millions of students at colleges are liberal and 90% of the thousands of professors at colleges are liberal, that means absolutly nothing, because, you know, lots of those liberals had to get regular jobs too.

And let me address another issue related to statistics, while we're at it. Just because there's more liberals with college degrees doesn't mean that liberals are smarter. Correlation does not mean causation. That COULD be the case, but it could also be that more people who are liberal decide to go to college, more people who go to college remain liberal or a million other reasons.

JP-

"I think this is also a deterrent to a professor speaking his mind. Who has time to grade papers, teach classes and deal with complaints daily? Students have a right to address a grievance, but I can imagine where this would lead. This bill would lead to abuse on both sides - left and right."

Yes, I agree. The problem, though, is that there is already abuse (on both sides) and NOTHING is being done about it. And frankly, I think professors need to spend more time dealing with complaints of all sorts. They are there in class to provide a service to students, and quite frankly all too many of them seem to forget it sometimes. A lot of them seem to view class as something that interrupts their research, or a place for them to make an ideolgical stand. I personally don't want to take away tenure, but I think there should be more done to require professors to take responsibility for their actions in class.

Not to mention, complaints would go through a grievance process, not straight to the professor, so I doubt he'd be dealing with them daily.

"This is implying that you can't be a professor if you have conservative views."

No, it implies that you're less likely to, especially if you are outspoken. I also know a few conservative professors. In fact I had one for a philosophy class. He argued so vehamently against Christian and traditionalist views and so vehamently for other views, imagine my suprise at the end of the semester when he took me aside and told me he himself was a Christian conservative. The other one taught statics (entry level mechanical engineering.)

"Is anyone else disturbed by the recent attacks on our academia?"

Other than this, the only attacks on academia I've seen have been problems that this bill is supposed to help, and stuff in the primary/secondary realm which, quite frankly, is more of a symptom of a problem than a reason.

The American Civ... (Below threshold)
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the bill would "censor" Ohio colleges and universities because it could be used to "curtail academic freedom and to encourage thought policing in our institutes of higher education."

Yep, here it is:

-- freedom from the persistent introduction of "controversial matter" into the coursework that has no bearing on the subject at hand.

Sez the ACLU in addition:

The ACLU-Ohio says the bill would discourage faculty from teaching anything controversial and require them to offer alternative views, even if those views don't have merit.

"Senate Bill 24 would shift the responsibility for course content and student evaluation from highly trained faculty to the state government or the courts," ACLU-Ohio says.

Which is true. The bill provides: [F]aculty "shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination", and puts any argument or dispute about this into the court system. But we need tort reform, because lawsuits are just too costly, yeah. . . .

The bill sounds like a solution in search of a problem; like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.

From the post:

The ACLU will now argue any position, as long as a Republican or a Boy Scout is on the other side.

The ACLU has argued for Communists and for Ku Klux Klansmen, for Christians and for atheists. Its interests are liberty, not politics.

We already have a First Amendment (as long as you're not too close to Dubya's presence), which covers many of the areas the bill pretends to cover. To that extent the bill is unnecessary (and the ACLU will go to court to represent people whose First Amendment rights are infringed). To the extent that the bill goes beyond that, it in itself is a governmental imposition of limits to the shape of speech, and that thought ought to frightening indeed to those who actually believe in free speech.

Cheers,

the ACLU is teetering on... (Below threshold)

the ACLU is teetering on the same precipice as the Democratic party

The ACLU has never been engaged in a "beauty contest". They really don't care much whether you like them or not. No one has ever run on the "ACLU Party" line. They've never offered up a candidate for political office, nor would they. They just quietly go about their business of protecting civil liberties.

Cheers,

Actually the ACLU will a... (Below threshold)

Actually the ACLU will argue any position as long as it is agains America and the Bill of rights.

What a load fo horse pattoties.

They claim to support both but ask potential gun owners which side the ACLU supports.

Why don't you ask the ACLU which side they support. They're not hard on the "individial gun ownership is an absolute right" side, but they're hardly completely anti-gun either.

Do they even know about the 10th Ammendment?

Yes. They're probably far more familiar with the caselaw and jurispruidence here than you are.

To call them supporters of the Bill of Rights is to call JFK and Teddy supporters of American security.

Huh? You suggesting we change the face on the half dollar and blast the other one off Rushmore?

Say, speaking of "supporters of American security", what do you think of Condi's lies about no warnings from Clarke, and Dubya's lies about "moving heaven and earth" is he'd had any idea what might be happening? Lots of little lies exposed this last week, conveniently after the election. And now we're up to close to one and a half thousand killed, and really in no better shape (and in fact, probably a bit worse) than when Dubya put on a codpiece and said "Mission accomplished". . . .

Cheers,

And also, for the record... (Below threshold)

And also, for the record, there is PLENTY of reasons for a person to dispute JF'nK's war history.

Well, if you believe proven liars like John O'Neill and his buddies, maybe. . . .

And plenty of respected people who dispute it.

"Respected" by who?

But I am sure that you have no trouble believing that Bush record was tainted with no eveidence...

You're right. Dubya's record is "tainted with no evidence". No evidence he ever showed up for duty fo the better part of a year, and essentially no evidence that he ever showed up in Alabama where he was supposed to be doing his alternate duty, having kissed off flying by blowing off his physical. The one person who claims to have seen him in Alabama places him there when his records say he wasn't there, and unbelievably enough claims that the lasy Dubya spent his days there reading flight manuals (a skill he might have used on PDBs if he actually possessed such). But the folks at the Alabama political campaign he worked at say more believably that he showed up around noontime and bragged about his drinking exploits. . . .

Cheers,

Raina writes: Jus... (Below threshold)
s9:

Raina writes: Just because there's more liberals with college degrees doesn't mean that liberals are smarter. Correlation does not mean causation.

I suppose you thought it was important to mention that in order to try to refute something in my remarks— however, I can't, for the life of me, imagine what that might have been.

I'm actually not even sure I believe that liberals have more college degrees than any other political alignment in America. But then, I tend to be more precise about using the word 'liberal' to describe only the people who swim in the political currents of Liberalism than a lot of people you find in weblog comment forums.

Did you notice that I never used the word 'liberal'— or any of its cognates, which are reasonably well-defined terms compared to the fuzzier ones I used like 'left-of-center' and 'right-wing nutjob'— in this thread to refer to anyone but the "liberal professors" mentioned by someone other than me? I'll bet you didn't; the soft bigotry of low expectations on your part, perhaps.

I have been assuming that everyone else here is at least as precise with their word choice and semantics as I try to be. It's just the polite thing to do, you know.

Raina writes: And... (Below threshold)
s9:

Raina writes: And it says nothing about a committee to lay out course content, it simply provides a grievance procedure.

You neglected to comment about the additional requirement for methods for redressing grievances covered under the list of "academic rights" in the preceding section of the bill.

From Sec 3345.80(B): Faculty and instructors shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination.

This is precisely the text that will be used by the party apparat to turn the grievance procedures required by the bill into a method of enforcing controlthink over professors and other educators.

I'm sure you honestly believe yourself when you say "THERE WILL BE NO THOUGHT POLICE." Unfortunately, all that says to me is that the very fact that party appartchiks will be charged with policing thought in the classroom will probably be, itself, crimethink.

The supporters of this bill sure seem to be acting in a way to suggest this is a safe assumption.

That is worth a good hearty... (Below threshold)
McCain:

That is worth a good hearty laugh. The job of professors is to teach, not to think, and not to share their biased opinions with their captive audience. What conceit to expect a pedestal from which to spout down their neanderthal nonsense.

Thought police? No. No more than anyone else in any other profession who gets told to shut up by their employers. What an amazing capacity for overestimated the importance of one's own tongue.

McCain writes: Th... (Below threshold)
s9:

McCain writes: The job of professors is to teach, not to think [...]

Are you serious? Because if you're really serious, then you might want to make serious proposal for automating the job of "professor" with industrial robots. Think of the cost savings in labor alone, man! To maintain and service an entire university full of robot professors, all you'd need is a handful of technicians with trade school certificates— a hell of a lot cheaper that a whole building full of professors, their offices and all their human resources burden. Energy consumption will probably go up a bit, but you can more than make up for that in vastly reduced costs for spare parts.

It is happening already, my... (Below threshold)
McCain:

It is happening already, my dear friend. On-line classes, void of the biased drivel that pompous professors profess, are already in our "finest" academic institutions. Like automated checkout, one only wonders why it took so long.

So you are on to something without even knowing it, and it is much cheaper than liberal Neanderthal college professors. That is called a win-win. Of course, those buggy whip Leninites won't all go so easily, but one can always hope.




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