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You Can't Get a Good Education If They're Only Telling You Half the Story

by Center for the Study of Popular Culture
The Problem with America's Colleges and The Solution
Universities are among our most important social institutions. They educate our youth, train future leaders, provide information and research, advance scientific and medical knowledge, generate technological innovation, and shape the attitudes that define us as a people. Yet universities are also anomalies in our national framework. Vital as they are to the functioning of our democracy, they are themselves undemocratic.

Overall, there is little or no accountability on the part of these institutions to the wider community that supports them and underwrites the affluence to which their principals have become accustomed. Whether private or public, whether operating under the aegis of state-appointed boards or private corporations, universities are effectively ruled by internal bureaucracies, which operate under a cloak of secrecy and are protected from oversight by privileges and traditions that date back to feudal times.

Thus, academic hiring committees are elitist and self-selecting, and function like medieval guilds to insulate themselves from external scrutiny. Once an academic hire is made, faculty "tenure" provides lifetime employment to the competent and the incompetent, the scholar and the ideologue alike. This means that outside the hard sciences and practical professions, there is no bottom-line in the university for bad ideas or discredited doctrines. Working in combination with these academic realities, the tolerant attitudes of a free society have made it possible for ideological minorities in the social sciences and related fields to enforce a political conformity otherwise incomprehensible in a modern democracy.

As a result, while the red and blue electoral map reveals an America that is almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, in the nation's universities Republicans (and conservatives) have become almost as rare as unicorns. In most schools, Republicans are less well represented than Greens, Marxists and sects of the far left. This is an indefensible situation with far-reaching implications.

"Diversity" may be one of the contemporary university's most cherished values, but university officials with near universality have interpreted diversity to mean anything but a plurality of viewpoints — arguably the most important diversity of all. What is knowledge if it is thoroughly one-sided, or intellectual freedom if it is only freedom to conform? And what is a "liberal education," if one point of view is for all intents and purposes excluded from the classroom? How can students get a good education, if they are only being told one side of the story? The answer is they can't. Even for $30,000 a year.

In the spring of 2002, a dinner was held at Harvard to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Salient, a conservative campus paper not supported by the university. One of the dinner speakers was the Salient's lone faculty sponsor, Professor Harvey Mansfield — so notorious for being the only outspoken conservative at Harvard that this oddity was the focus of a New York Times feature story. The other speaker was National Review managing editor Jay Nordlinger, whose talk was titled, "The Conservative on Campus:"

I attended the University of Michigan, class of '86. To say the place was soaked in political correctness is to say too little. You got the clear sense that if you weren't careful in what you said or did things could turn out badly for you. Ideology — not scholarship, not learning — was king on that campus ("dictator" would be a better word.)

A fellow student who took chemistry, physics, and the other hard sciences came back to the dorm one day to say that one of his instructors had spent the whole session talking up the Communist guerrillas in El Salvador. This was in math or some similar subject. Professors and — even more — teaching assistants were using their lecterns as political podiums. They were proselytizing and indoctrinating. I thought this was wrong — quite apart from my own political beliefs, which were just forming. I thought: "You know, I wouldn't do this, if I had this power, this responsibility — the academic lectern."

Political indoctrination in the classroom and the exclusion of conservatives from college faculties are violations of academic freedom and an offense to the very concept of a liberal education. The introduction of political agendas into the curriculum is a product of forces unleashed in the 1960s, which have consciously transformed universities into the political monoliths they have become.

It is time to remind ourselves that not so long ago the consensus of educators was that political indoctrination in the classroom by professors of whatever persuasion was an unacceptable abuse. The 1967 "Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students" adopted by the American Association of University Professors clearly states that the "freedom to teach and freedom to learn" are inseparable. Responding to a controversy over a course at UC Berkeley in the spring of 2002, UC Chancellor Robert Berdahl said, "It is imperative that our classrooms be free of indoctrination — indoctrination is not education." Unfortunately, there is virtually no college administration today — including that of UC Berkeley — that is willing to defend this student right.

What can be done about the current state of affairs? The answer begins with the recognition that this situation has developed because of the public's inattention to what happens inside the institutions that its tuition fees, tax dollars, and voluntary contributions make possible. The remedy lies first in insisting on greater scrutiny of these institutions, and second on resolving that the abuses will be corrected.

The Center for the Study of Popular Culture in conjunction with other interested organizations is therefore launching a "Campaign for Fairness and Inclusion in Higher Education." Its agenda is to call on university administrations to implement the following five demands:

Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the hiring process for faculty and administrators, and seek ways to promote fairness towards — and inclusion of — diverse and under-represented mainstream perspectives;
Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the selection of commencement speakers and seek ways to promote fairness towards — and inclusion of — diverse and under-represented mainstream perspectives;
Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the allocation of student program funds — including speakers' fees — and seek ways to promote fairness towards and inclusion of diverse and under-represented mainstream perspectives;
Institute a zero tolerance policy towards the obstruction of campus speakers and meetings and the destruction of informational literature distributed by campus groups.
Adopt a code of conduct for faculty that ensures that classrooms will welcome diverse viewpoints and not be used for political indoctrination, which is a violation of students' academic freedom.
Some may be skeptical of an appeal to university authorities, to solve a problem which they have helped to create. We believe, however, that the principles of fairness and inclusion resonate so deeply with the American people and the American character that they will find a response in the university community. Chancellor Berdahl's statement is evidence of this potential. But because the violation of student and faculty rights has been so long-standing and systemic, we are appealing directly to the trustees and state-appointed governing bodies of these institutions as well.

We call on state legislatures in particular to begin these inquiries at the institutions they are responsible for and to enact practical remedies as soon as possible. We do not think this would pose any significant problem for academic freedom. Quite the contrary. The principle of diversity is well established in federal law and has been accepted by virtually all existing collegiate administrations. By adding the categories of political and religious affiliation to Title IX and other existing legislation, the means are readily available — without jeopardizing the integrity and independence of the university system — to redress an intolerable situation involving illegal and unconstitutional hiring methods along with teaching practices that are an abuse of academic freedom.

Missing Diversity On America's Campuses
By David Horowitz | September 3, 2002

IN THE FALL OF 2001, I spoke at a large public university in the eastern United States, which will remain nameless to protect the innocent. It was one of more than 30 colleges I had visited during the school year and, as usual, my invitation had come from a small group of campus conservatives who also put together a small dinner for me at a local restaurant. Our conclave reflected the current state of conservatism in the American university. Not only were our numbers small, but there were no deans or university administrators present, and only one professor. Open conservatives are an isolated and harassed minority on today’s college campuses, where they enjoy little respect and almost no support from institutional powers.

Although I am a nationally known public figure—author of books that have been best-sellers and nominated for a national book award, a Fox News contributor and one of America’s 100 leading "public intellectuals" according to a recent study of the subject, at these dinners, which normally precede my campus speeches, the absence of administration representatives is wholly predictable. (In nearly 200 campus appearances, I can think of only two exceptions.) When I spoke at the University of Michigan to 1,000 students, there were three university vice presidents in the balcony, but none thought to introduce himself to me. Occasionally a professor will attend these dinners, but rarely more than one. My experience as a conservative is not unique. By contrast, if I were an anti-American, radical like Angela Davis, deans of the college would wait on me and professors would confer academic credits on students for attending my appearances. On many occasions my speech would be an official campus event.

Angela Davis—a lifelong Communist zealot with no noticeable scholarly achievement—is a celebrated campus figure (there is even an "Angela Davis Lounge" at the University of Michigan) and thus can be expected to attract the attention of like-minded peers now entrenched in university administrations. But the same disparity would be discernible between a less well-known leftist and almost any comparable conservative. It reflects the fact that while conservatives often make up a large proportion of the student body on American campuses—and in some cases even a plurality—conservative professors and administrators are notably hard to find. Not only are the overwhelming majority of college professors fashionably "liberal," most faculties have a strong contingent of hard leftists whose views are extreme, and whose concentrated numbers make it possible for them to dominate (and even define) entire academic fields. These faculty activists are also available to be sponsors of an impressive array of radical campus political groups, which—if the university is large enough—may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from general student funds.

Among those invited to the dinner was a silver-haired history professor, who served as the faculty sponsor of the club inviting me. This man represented a dying breed of faculty conservatives who had become tenured in an era when hiring committees were not yet applying a litmus to exclude those whose political views were not suitably left. The transformation that followed was succinctly described by the distinguished intellectual historian, John P. Diggins, at an annual meeting of the American Studies Association in Costa Mesa, Calif., a decade ago. Diggins told the assembled academics: "When my generation of liberals was in control of university faculties in the Sixties, we opened the doors to the hiring of radicals in the name of diversity. We thought you would do the same. But you didn’t. You closed the doors behind you."

Diggins’ observation provides the template for what has happened to American universities in the last thirty years. The liberal academy of the 1950s and 1960s, whose ideals were shaped by Charles Eliot and Matthew Arnold and whose mission was "the disinterested pursuit of knowledge" is no more. Leftists tenured after the 1960s first transformed these institutions into political battlegrounds and then redefined them as "agencies of social change." In the process, they first defeated and then excluded peers whom they perceived as obstacles to their politicized academic agendas.

Some years ago a distinguished member of this radical generation, Richard Rorty, summarized its achievement in the following words: "The power base of the left in America is now in the universities, since the trade unions have largely been killed off. The universities have done a lot of good work by setting up, for example, African-American studies programs, Women’s Studies programs, Gay and Lesbian Studies programs. They have created power bases for these movements." Rorty is a professor of philosophy at the University of Virginia and one of the nation’s most honored intellectual figures. He is also an editor of the democratic socialist magazine Dissent and a moderate in the ranks of the left. That such an intellectual should celebrate the conversion of academic institutions into political "power bases" speaks volumes about the tragedy that has befallen the university.

On the occasions of my campus visits, I am always curious to discover the local circumstances that conspire to create a situation so otherwise inexplicable in an open society. How, in particular, does an institution that publicly promotes itself as "liberal" and "inclusive," as dedicated to "diversity" and the "free exchange of ideas," devolve into such a political monolith? The conservative history professor who had come to dinner was obviously a senior member of his academic department, which was really the only status a conservative faculty member could have, since the hiring doors had been closed nearly a quarter of a century earlier. So I asked how conservatives like him were treated by faculty colleagues.

Catching my drift he replied, "Well, they haven’t allowed me to sit on a search committee since 1985." He was referring to the committees that interview prospective candidates to fill faculty openings. "In 1985, he continued, "I was the chair of the search committee and of course we hired a Marxist." "Of course," I said, knowing that for conservatives who believed in the traditional mission of academic inquiry, diversity of viewpoints would make perfect sense. Others might be guided by different imperatives. Their very dedication to "social change" would commit them to an agenda, which is about power, and which inspires them to clear rivals from their path.

The professor went on: "This year we had an opening for a scholar of Asian history. We had several candidates but obviously the most qualified one was from Stanford. Yet he didn’t get the job. So I went to the chair of the search committee and asked him what had happened. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘you’re absolutely right. He was far and away the most qualified candidate and we had a terrific interview. But then we went to lunch and he let out that he was for school vouchers."

In other words, if one has a politically incorrect view on K-12 school vouchers, one must be politically incorrect on the Ming Dynasty too. This is almost a dictionary description of the totalitarian mentality. But there is more than dogmatism at work in the calculation. The attitude also reflects the priorities of an entrenched oligarchy, which fears to include those it cannot count on to maintain its control.

A certain focus on control is normal for bureaucrats in any institution. But in an institution like the university, whose very structures are elitist, there are few natural limits to such political agendas. Outside the hard sciences and the practical professions, what is the penalty for bad ideas? There is none. Once a discredited dogma like Marxism is legitimated through the hiring process, there is no institutional obstacle to its expansion and entrenchment as a "scholarly" discipline.

The structural support for ideological conformity is intensified by the introduction of overt political agendas. These agendas were originally imported into the university by radicals acting as the self-conscious disciples of an Italian Marxist named Antonio Gramsci. As an innovative Stalinist in the 1930s, Gramsci pondered the historic inability of Communist parties to mobilize workers to seize the means of production and overthrow the capitalist ruling class. Gramsci’s new idea was to focus radicals’ attention on the means of intellectual production as a new lever of social change. He urged radicals to acquire "cultural hegemony," by which he meant to capture the institutions that produced society’s governing ideas. This would be the key to controlling and transforming the society itself.

To illustrate how ingrained this attitude has become and how casually it is deployed to justify the suppression of conservative ideas, let me cite an e-mail I received from a professor at Emory University. The professor was responding to an article I had written about the abuse of conservative students by administrators at Vanderbilt and the exclusion of conservatives from the Vanderbilt faculty. He was not especially radical, yet he did not have so much as a twinge of conscience at the picture I drew of a faculty cleansed of conservative opinions. "Why do I and other academics have little shame here?" he asked rhetorically, then answered the question: "We are not the only game in the marketplace of ideas. We are competing with journalism, entertainment, churches, political lobbyists, and well-funded conservative think tanks."

In other words, contemporary academics see themselves not primarily as educators, but as agents of an "adversary culture" at war with the world outside the university. But the university was not created—and is not funded—to compete with other institutions. It is designed to train employees, citizens and leaders of those institutions, and to endow them with appropriate knowledge and skills. Because of its strategic function as an educator of elites however, it can be effectively used in the way Gramsci proposed to subvert other institutions too.

There is an organic connection, for example, between the political bias of the university and the political bias of the press. It was not until journalists became routinely trained in university schools of journalism that mainstream media began to mirror the perspectives of the adversary culture. Universities have become a power base of the political left, and the Emory professor’s argument only makes sense, really, from the vantage of someone so alienated from his own society as to want to subvert it. His suggestion that universities somehow "balance" conservative think tanks of the wealthy is patently absurd. "Well-funded" conservative think tanks may stand in intellectual opposition to subversive agendas, but what wealthy think tank can compete with Harvard, its centuries of tradition, its hundreds of faculty members, its government subsides and its $18 billion, tax-free endowment?

Academics who are not self-conscious radicals may also harbor resentments against the larger culture and be inspired to seek like-minded colleagues. When they are imbued with a sense of social mission that requires ideological cohesion, the result is an intellectual monolith. How monolithic? Last spring I organized college students to investigate the voting registrations of university professors at more than a dozen institutions of higher learning. The students used primary registrations to determine party affiliation. Here is a representative sample:

• At the University of Colorado—a public university in a Republican state—94% of the liberal arts faculty whose party registrations could be established were Democrats and only 4% percent Republicans. Out of 85 professors of English who registered to vote, zero were Republicans. Out of 39 professors of history—one. Out of 28 political scientists—two.

How Republican is Colorado? Its governor, two Senators and four out of six congressmen are Republican. There are 200,000 more registered Republicans in Colorado than there are Democrats. But at the state-funded, University of Colorado, Republicans are a fringe group.

• At Brown University, 94.7% of the professors whose political affiliations showed up in primary registrations last year were Democrats, only 5.3% were Republicans. Only three Republicans could be found on the Brown liberal arts faculty. Zero in the English Department, zero in the History Department, zero in the Political Science Department, zero in the Africana Studies Department, and zero in the Sociology Department.

• At the University of New Mexico, 89% of the professors were Democrats, 7% Republicans and 4% Greens. Of 200 professors, ten were Republicans, but zero in the Political Science Department, zero in the History Department, zero in the Journalism Department and only one each in the Sociology, English, Women’s Studies and African American Studies Departments.

• At the University of California, Santa Barbara, 97% of the professors were Democrats. 1.5% Greens and an equal 1.5% Republicans. Only one Republican professor could be found.

• At the University of California, Berkeley, of the 195 professors whose affiliations showed up, 85% were Democrats, 8% Republicans, 4% Greens and 3% American Independent Party, Peace and Freedom Party and Reform Party voters. Out of 54 professors in the History Department, only one Republican could be found, out of 28 Sociology professors zero, out of 57 English professors zero, out of 16 Women’s Studies professors zero, out of nine African American Studies professors zero, out of six Journalism professors zero.

• At the University of California, Los Angeles, of the 157 professors whose political affiliations showed up 93% were Democrats, only 6.5% were Republicans.

• At the University of North Carolina, the Daily Tar Heel conducted its own survey of eight departments and found that, of the professors registered with a major political party, 91% were Democrats while only 9% were Republicans.

In an ideological universe in which university administrators claim that "diversity" is their priority, these are striking facts. How can students get a good education, if they’re only being told half the story? The answer is, they can’t.

The present academic monolith is an offense to the spirit of free inquiry. The hiring practices that have led to the present situation are discriminatory and illegal. They violate the Constitution, which prevents hiring and firing on the basis of political ideas and patronage laws that bar state institutions from servicing a particular political party. Yet university administrators have not shown any inclination to address this problem, or to reform the practices that perpetuate it. Nor have self-identified "liberal" professors who are themselves the source of the problem. If there is to be reform, it will have to come from other quarters.

Inside the Mind of an Ivy League Professor
By Frank Luntz | August 30, 2002

For all the talk we hear about "diversity" on college campuses, one would hope that the differences we are told to cherish run deeper than gender or skin color — and that diversity exists among the faculty as well as the students. One would hope that in addition to an ethnically diverse group of educators, America's colleges and universities would strive to assemble faculties that exhibit diversity of thoughts, attitudes, and political perspectives as well. One would hope that the Ivy League, representing the nation's educational elite, would lead the way.

Wishful thinking. A new survey of Ivy League professors conducted by the Luntz Research Companies on behalf of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture reveals an indisputable and painfully evident lack of diversity when it comes to the attitudes and values of Ivy League faculty. Not only is there an alarming uniformity among the guardians of our best and brightest minds, but this group of educators is almost uniformly outside of mainstream, moderate, middle-of-the-road American political thought. So much for diversity.

The survey covers many of the hot-button issues in contemporary American political life. We asked Ivy League Professors about missile defense, tax cuts, affirmative action, abortion, and education. We asked cultural and historic questions as well, inquiring about national events, presidential elections and the news media. The results suggest an education elite that is quite different in thought and perception than the country that supports it — and even the students they teach. The disjuncture is chilling.

Cleary, those on the conservative side of the political spectrum don't have much of a place in the Ivy League faculty lounges. Just 6 percent of Ivy League professors would describe themselves as either conservative or somewhat conservative, and only 3 percent consider themselves to be Republicans. So much for diversity.
Ask an Ivy League professor to crack open his or her wallet —odds are that you won't see any membership cards for the National Rifle Association, Christian Coalition or National Taxpayers Union. Given a list of nationally known organizations, zero percent identifies with the Christian Coalition and just one percent say that they most identify with either of the two other conservative organizations. By contrast, 44 percent say that they most identify with the ACLU.
The difference between the Ivy academics and the public at large on the topic of missile defense is night and day. With domestic terrorism still fresh on our minds, 70 percent of Americans told Gallup in October that the government should spend the money that would be necessary to build a defense system against nuclear missiles. Yet just 14 percent of Ivy Professors agree. Instead, 74 percent said that the government should not spend the money that would be required for research and development of such a system.
On economic issues the contrast is just as stark. In May 67 percent of Americans favored a substantial tax cut in this year's federal budget according to a Gallup poll released at the time. But Ivy League professors have a different idea of what the government should do with our money. Just 13 percent believe that the surplus (in any given year) should be returned to the taxpayers in the form of a tax cut, while a whopping 80 percent disagree.
As for slavery reparations, 40 percent of Ivy League professors agree that the federal government owes American blacks some form of reparations for the harms caused by slavery and discrimination. By comparison, just 11 percent of all Americans think that the U.S should pay reparations to African-Americans who are descendants of slaves.
On the issue of school choice, Ivy professors hate it while Americans support it. Just 26 percent of the academics believe that the government should give parents the option of using government-funded school vouchers to pay for tuition at a public, private or religious school of their choice. Contrarily, 62 percent of all Americans say they would vote for such a system.
On one hand, this survey is a barometer of the political persuasions of Ivy League professors, measuring issue-specific viewpoints and comparing them to the population overall. But the survey goes deeper to paint a richer portrait of these educators by capturing their attitudes and perspectives. Here, once again, the Ivy League is out of whack with mainstream America.

Take some of the more culturally and historically-based questions:

Just 21 percent of Ivy League professors believe that news coverage of political and social issues reflects a liberal bias in the news media. On the other hand, 51 percent think that most journalists are about the same, politically, or even less liberal than they are.
Turning to the op-ed pages…given the choice of either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, 72 percent of Ivy League professors say that they agree more with the editorial page of the Times, while just 5 percent say they agree more with the Journal.
Asked who they thought has been the best President in the past 40 years, the top four choices are all Democrats. Leading the list at 26 percent is Bill Clinton. John Kennedy came in second (17%), Lyndon Johnson third (15%) and Jimmy Carter fourth (13%). And the bottom five? All Republican: Reagan, 4%; George H. Bush, 2%; Nixon, 1%; Ford, 1% and George W. Bush, 0%.
One would hope that those who teach the nation's best and brightest are the nation's best and brightest. The elite educators who pass along knowledge and impart critical thinking skills to our country's finest students are entrusted with the precious task of shaping the hearts and minds of our future. What will that future bring if these students are routinely exposed to a monotone of opinion that is woefully out of tune with the American mainstream?

The findings of this poll are not news to Ivy League universities. In fact, one university was openly hostile to our efforts to complete this project. We think they were afraid of what we would find. But 151 professors from the social sciences and the humanities did complete the survey that was administered from mid-October through mid-November.

Peering down the Main Street of American politics, these results stick out like a diamond in the dust. It is assumed that the Ivy League faculty provides the intellectual roadmaps for our nation's future leaders, yet their thinking is out of step with the attitudes, values, viewpoints and expectations of mainstream American thought. Just as it is valuable for our nation's brightest students to encounter the perspectives of those of different races and religions, it is equally valuable for them to be exposed to a diversity of thoughts, ideas and attitudes.

Sadly, the Ivy League fails to deliver.

College Graduation Speakers
By Center for the Study of Popular Culture | September 3, 2002

University of California, Berkeley
1993 Jerry Brown Former Gov. of California
1994 Oliver Stone Film Director
1995 Robert Reich Secretary of Labor
1996 Pedro Noguerra UC Asst. Professor of Education*
1997 Bill Cosby Comedian
1998 Steve Wozniak Cofounder of Apple Computers
1999 Terry McMillan Novelist (Waiting to Exhale)
2000 Madeleine Albright Secretary of State
2001 Janet Reno Former Attorney General
2002 Jonny Moseley Olympic Gold Medalist
*Pedro Noguerra was a leader of the campus left in his days as a UC Berkeley undergraduate and organized a university "teach in" to support the Marxist dictatorship in Nicaragua.
Summary: Of 10 Commencement speakers, 9 are Democrats, liberals or leftists; 1 is an athlete; 0 are Republicans or conservatives.

University of Pennsylvania
1993 Hillary Clinton First Lady
1994 Henry Cisneros HUD Secretary, Clinton Administration
1995 Jane Alexander Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
1996 Tom Brokaw TV Journalist
1997 Bill Cosby Entertainer
1998 Jimmy Carter Former President of United States
1999 Robert Rubin Treasury Secretary
2000 Seamus Heaney 1995 Nobel Laureate in Literature
2001 John McCain U.S. Senator
2002 Jim Lehrer PBS News Anchor
Summary: Of 10 Commencement Speakers, 8 are Democrats, liberals or leftists, 1 is a Republican, 1 is a poet

Wellesley College
1993 Gloria Steinem Feminist
1994 Cokie Roberts NPR/ABC News Analyst
1995 Madeleine Albright U.S. Ambassador to the UN
1996 Nora Ephron Writer, film director
1997 Oprah Winfrey Talk show host
1998 Pamela A. Melroy Astronaut
1999 Lynn Sherr ABC News Correspondent
2000 Pamela Daniels Wellesley College class dean
2001 Jehan Sadat Human rights activist
2002 Whoopi Goldberg Actress
Summary: Of 10 Commencement Speakers, 8 are Democrats, liberals or leftists, 1 is an astronaut,1, 1 is the 1 is the wife of a former head of state, 0 are Republicans or conservatives

Harvard University
1993 Colin Powell Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
1994 Albert Gore Jr. Vice President of the U.S.
1995 Václav Havel President of the Czech Republic
1996 Harold Varmus Director NIH
1997 Madeleine Albright U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton
1998 Mary Robinson UN Commissioner for Human Rights
1999 Alan Greenspan Chairman of the Federal Reserve
2000 Amartya K. Sen Economist, Nobel Laureate
2001 Robert E. Rubin Former Secretary of the Treasury, Clinton
2002 Daniel Moynihan Former Senator, Democrat
Summary: Of 10 Commencement speakers, 8 were Democrats, leftists or liberals, 1 was a Republican, and 1 was a general who had no party identification at the time.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1993 Ted Turner Media magnate
1994 Francis Sellers Collins Director, National Genome Research
1995 Dr. Johnnetta Cole President of Spellman College in Atlanta
1996 Seamus Heaney Nobel Prize Winning Poet
1997 Erskine Bowles Clinton Chief of Staff
1998 Marian Wright Edelman Pres. Of Children's Defense Fund
1999 Bill Bradley Democrat Presidential Candidate
2000 Stuart Eizenstat Carter Treasury Official
2001 Stuart Scott ESPN SportsCenter anchor
2002 John Edwards United States Senator, Democrat
Summary: Of 10 Commencement Speakers, 7 are Democrats, liberals or leftists, 1 is a poet, 1 is medical researcher, 1 is a sports reporter, 0 are Republicans.

Drew University
1993 Olympia Dukakis Actress
1994 Mario Cuomo Former Governor
1995 Andrew Shue Teach for America
1996 Hillary Clinton First Lady
1997 Christine Todd Whitman Governor
1998 James Earl Jones Actor
1999 Christopher Reeves Actor
2000 Bill Richardson U.S. Secretary of Energy
2001 Richard Holbrooke Former Ambassador to the UN
2002 Bill Cosby Actor
Summary: Of 10 Commencement Speakers, 8 are Democrats, liberals or leftists, 1 is an Actor with no public political views, 1 is a Republican.

University of Michigan
1993 Hillary Clinton First Lady
1994 Dennis Wayne Archer Democratic Mayor of Detroit
1995 Marion Wright Edelman Children's Defense Fund
1995 William G. Bowen Foundation president
1996 Johnetta B. Cole President Spelman College
1996 James J. Duderstadt President emeritus, U. of Michigan
1997 Lee C. Bollinger President of the U. of Michigan
1998 Richard Ford Novelist
1999 Shirley M. Malcom Author
2000 Bernice Johnson Reagon Composer, singer and activist
2001 Marshall Sahlins Anthropologist
2002 Donna E. Shalala Former Clinton Cabinet member
Summary: Of 10 Commencement Speakers, 10 are Democrats, liberals or leftists. 0 are Republicans or conservatives.

Note: In the last four years, convicted murderer and political radical Mumia Abu-Jamal has been the invited commencement speaker at four universities. Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett has been the invited commencement speaker at 0.

Why University Politics Matter
By Robert Locke | September 4, 2002

It is no secret that the vast majority of American universities are dominated by the left, particularly in subject areas that affect society. Unfortunately, some people still don't think this really matters. So let us review the reasons why it does:

Universities serve as a vast training and recruitment system for political activists and Democratic Party activists. They systematically expose all young people to leftist ideology, show them a community and a culture they can join, select out the most promising ones, and plug them into a network that can give them a political career. And of course, they show them how this system works, enabling it to be replicated by the next generation in perpetuity.

Universities finance the development of leftist ideology. A political movement that aspires to run the whole of society must have answers about everything. It must have books and experts on every area of policy. In an intellectually sophisticated nation like the United States, this requires a large amount of trained academic labor. Best yet, the fact that "progressive" politics are fashionable means that people volunteer to do this labor for free or for very low salaries.

Universities impose leftist propaganda on the average student. Even where they do not convince people of the truth of hard-left ideas, they redefine where the center is by making extreme ideas seem normal. After all, that nice professor says so. They also make leftism cease to seem shocking to educated people by sugarcoating it with the naivete and warm memories of their college years.

Universities place the prestige of some of the most revered institutions in our culture on the side of the left — think of such controversial issues as impeachment, abortion, capital punishment, gun control, global warming and missile defense. If Harvard believes X, then X is respectable opinion, even if not actually true. Universities help form a social matrix in which liberal views are part of the required characteristics for social acceptance and prestige. They establish the tacit equation that "educated" means left ("liberal") in advanced social and political circles.

Universities employ large numbers of leftwing intellectuals. Many of these people would be unemployable otherwise, and would have lost interest in ideology. Many of them use their university employment not only as a venue for developing leftist ideas, but as a financial base for extra-curricular leftist activities and as a resting-spot between stints in Democrat administrations. Universities also serve the role of credentialing and identifying the key liberal intellectuals so leftists know who to follow.

By offering academic employment to the left only, universities encourage scholars of other political dispositions to become left-thinking. They discourage conservatives from pursuing scholarly careers.

Academic leftism that does not have to contend with conservatism is free to assume a much more virulent form than it would if checked by the need to compete with a visible alternative. Ironically, to some extent this helps conservativem, as it causes leftism to pervert itself into the Rococo form of political correctness, which is so loony that it turns the public against it.
University administrations are responsible for a situation that is discriminatory and unfair. It undermines the democratic process when one side is subsidized by massive government inputs. It's time to change this. Our fundamental effort should be to restore fairness and inclusion to these institutions, which are now politicized in a partisan way, so that they can return to their mission of education. Any reform bill should be called the "Academic Freedom and Fairness Act."

Access Denied
By Christina Hoff Sommers | September 5, 2002

In a recent talk at Haverford College, I questioned the standard Women's Studies teaching that the United States is a sexist, patriarchal society that oppresses "wimmin." For many in the audience this was their first encounter with a conservative scholar. Several students from nearby Bryn Mawr were frowning and knitting intently as I spoke.

In the hectic discussion, one student defended her women's studies class. "It taught me to love my body." When I politely suggested that "loving one's body" was a bizarre and unacceptable goal for a serious college course, she seemed mystified. Another, whose Haverford education seems never to have included Reality 101, was horrified at my saying that the free market had advanced the cause of women by affording them unprecedented economic opportunities. "How can anyone say that capitalism has helped women?" she asked. Nor did I win converts when I said that the male heroism of the soldiers in our special forces, not to speak of the fire fighters at Ground Zero, should persuade gender scholars to acknowledge that "stereotypical masculinity" had some merit. Later one embarrassed and apologetic student said to me, "Haverford is just not ready for you."

The young woman who had invited me to the campus had told me that there was very little intellectual diversity at Haverford and that she hoped my talk would spark some debate. In fact, she and many in the audience were quietly delighted by the exchanges. But two very angry students accused her of having provided "a forum for hate speech."

As the last presidential election made plain, the United States today is pretty evenly divided between conservatives and liberals. Yet conservative scholars have effectively been marginalized, silenced, and rendered invisible on the contemporary campus. Most students can go through four years of college without ever encountering a scholar of pronounced conservative views; they may never once hear such views treated seriously or respectfully.

Few conservatives make it past the gauntlet of faculty hiring in departments such as political science, history, or English. When a reporter from Denver's Rocky Mountain News did a survey of the humanities and social sciences at the University of Colorado (Boulder), he found, "Of the 190 professors affiliated with a political party, 184 were Democrats." There wasn't a single Republican in the English, psychology, journalism or philosophy departments; nor were there any in such enclaves of freedom as women's studies, ethnic studies, or gay and lesbian studies. A 1999 survey of history departments found 22 Democrats at Stanford, and 2 Republicans. At Cornell and Dartmouth there were 29 and 10 Democrats, respectively; but not a single Republican in either school's history department.

The dearth of conservatives in psychology departments is so striking, that one (politically liberal) professor has proposed affirmative action outreach. Richard Redding, a professor of psychology at Villanova University, writing in a recent issue of American Psychologist, notes that of the 31 social policy articles that appeared in American Psychologist between 1990 and 1999, 30 could be classified as liberal; one as conservative. The key issue, as Redding rightly sees it, is not the preponderance of Democrats over Republicans, but the liberal policy of systematically excluding conservatives. Redding cites an experiment in which several graduate departments received mock applications from two candidates nearly identical in all ways save one: one "applicant" disclosed that he was a conservative Christian. The professors judged the non-conservative to be the significantly better candidate. Redding asks, rhetorically: "Do we want a professional world where our liberal world view prevents us from considering valuable strengths of conservative approaches to social problems . . .where conservatives are reluctant to enter the profession and we tacitly discriminate against them if they do? That, in fact, is the academic world we now have and it is being perpetuated."

The only exposure to dissident perspectives that the average undergraduate may get is on the rare occasion that a politically incorrect speaker is invited to the campus. This happens rarely because such visits are resented and resisted and almost never internally funded. When Thomas Sowell, Ward Connerly, Andrew Sullivan, David Horowitz, or Linda Chavez, do appear at a college, they are routinely heckled, jeered, hissed at and sometimes threatened. In November 1998, the president of Columbia University, George Rupp, forced the last minute cancellation of a conservative conference when a mob of 250 students threatened to disrupt it. As the invited speakers, John Leo and Dinesh D'Souza, made a hasty retreat to a nearby park, jeering protesters, exhilarated by their success in getting them evicted, brandished placards that said, "Access denied: We Win."

The academy is now so inhospitable to free statement that conservatives have resorted to paid advertisements as a means of presenting their ideas to students. Unfortunately, that too doesn't always work. Most school newspapers refuse to print them. Papers that do print them are sometimes vandalized and the editors threatened.

The classical liberalism, articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty, is no longer alive on American campuses, having died of the very disease Mill warned of when he pointed out that ideas that are not freely and openly debated become "dead dogmas." Mill insisted that the intellectually free person must put himself in the "mental position of those who think differently" adding that dissident ideas are best accessed "by hear[ing] them from persons who actually believe them. [You] must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form." In too many universities today students have no access to nonconformist ideas in the persuasive form given them by conservative or libertarian thinkers.

Fortunately several groups are working hard to bring some intellectual balance to the campus. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Young America Foundation, and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and Accuracy in Academia, sponsor campus lectures by leading conservative scholars and writers. Students, routinely denied funds for the out-of-favor speakers they wish to invite, can turn to one or more of these four groups for help in inviting speakers like William F. Buckley, Shelby Steele, or Mary Lefkowitz to address audiences at their schools. But for these organizations, there would be a near total black-out of conservative and moderate opinion on our campuses.

The absence of intellectual diversity in our institutions of higher learning is a national disgrace that many have deplored but few have taken practical measures to remedy. The good news is that David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture has just launched the "Campaign for Fairness and Inclusion in Higher Education." It calls for university officials to:

Establish a zero tolerance policy for vandalizing newspapers or heckling or threatening speakers.
Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the allocation of student program funds-including speakers' fees, and to seek ways to promote fairness towards and inclusion of diverse and underrepresented perspectives.
Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the hiring process of faculty and administrators and seek ways to promote fairness toward-and inclusion of - diverse and underrepresented perspectives
Were even one high profile institution like the University of Colorado or Columbia University to adopt a firm policy of intellectual inclusiveness, that policy would quickly spread and gain purchase, and, then, benighted students everywhere-even at rigidly conformist institutions like Haverford and Bryn Mawr-would soon be seeing daylight.

UC Berkeley: A Safe Harbor For Hate
By Rory Miller | September 5, 2002

Since 9/11 the American public-not just long suffering conservative college students-has become aware of the oppressive presence of the academic left. Recently attention was drawn to one of the basic freshmen reading courses required at UC Berkeley, which is titled "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance" and is taught by English instructor Snehal Shingavi. The course description concluded with the following caveat: "Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections." The conversion of the once liberal university into a political base for the radical left has been proceeding apace for many years. Recently, voices have arisen to challenge the campus totalitarians, both from within the academy and without. Hoping to quash the voices of dissent inside, the left has become both bolder and heavier handed.

U.C. Berkeley postures as a haven of free speech and tolerance, but like other so-called liberal campuses across the nation, it is far from that. The unstated rule in effect on the campus is that one is free to speak and to be as extreme as one wishes, but only so long as one speaks from the left. When the student newspaper, the Daily Californian, endorsed Ward Connerly's statewide Proposition 209, which banned racial preferences in California, the entire press run of over 23,000 copies was stolen. Nobody was punished for the criminal act.

More recently, the Daily Cal had its press run stolen for running David Horowitz's advertisement "10 Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery Are A Bad Idea-And Racist Too," and for running an ad by the Ayn Rand Institute calling for a United States attack on Iran. This year, the California Patriot, a monthly conservative magazine, had all 4,000 issues stolen due to an article critical of the separatist Chicano group MEChA, whose radical agenda is "self-determination" for La Raza (the "race") meaning that Mexico should reclaim the Southwest. (This was also the agenda of Germany, exposed in the famous Zimmerman memorandum that provoked America's entry into the First World War.) MEChA is funded by university fees and poses as a "civil rights" group.

Freedom of the press isn't the only First Amendment freedom to be traduced on campus. Even more disturbing is the silencing of any voices that offer an alternative to the leftist party line. Since 2000, no less than four speakers have had their speeches shouted down or cancelled since they ran afoul of the radical left. It should be noted that liberals who are not sufficiently leftist are as likely as conservatives to face this persecution (without any disciplinary response from the UC Administration). Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, was the official commencement speaker for 2000 (an honor normally denied conservative figures, but on at least one occasion bestowed on a student radical at Berkeley). Albright was forced to endure being called a racist and murderer before the entire graduating class by the University Medalist, whose award is similar to that of valedictorian.

This is the sort of campus environment that allows the scheduling of courses such as Snehal's exercise in pro-Palestinian propaganda (which is unique only in the baldness of its catalogue description).

The people responsible for acts of violence against speakers and publications are a small core group of far left activists who proclaim themselves "revolutionary Marxists" and "Bolsheviks" on their websites and who latch onto different causes as opportunities present themselves to further their more general goal of aiding America's enemies and destroying its democracy. The activist career of Snehal Shingavi illustrates their agendas.

Snehal is, in fact, the spokesman or leader of many different left-wing causes and extremist groups. He has been a campus union agitator and involved in the "anti-sweatshop" crusade for example, while his base of operations is as the Berkeley leader of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), a Trostkyite splinter which describes itself as "Leninist" and advocates violent revolution in the United States. Its website, under the heading "Revolution, not Reform" explains "The structures of the present government-the Congress, the army, the police and the judiciary-cannot be taken over and used by the working class. They grew up under capitalism and are designed to protect the ruling class against workers." In other words, American democracy is a sham, and only violent revolution can bring about the triumph of the socialist cause.

Even in the face of the terrorist attacks on September 11, Snehal's anti-American passions could not be contained. That evening, Snehal and other campus radicals hosted a candlelight vigil on Sproul Plaza, the traditional heart of U.C. Berkeley student life, which was advertised as a "memorial vigil." The bait and switch was that this was really an anti-America manifestation whose speakers proclaimed that the United States was the world's greatest terrorist regime, and expressed the wish that George Bush had been in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack.

The 9/11 terrorist bombings were hailed as the "first blow against American capitalism." I was there to hear it. During the open microphone period, I called for a military response against the terrorists and was booed off the stage. Another student spoke of his friend who was presumed dead in the Towers and was laughed at and mocked when he described his friend as a stockbroker. Towards the end of the evening, the presidents of both the campus Republicans and Democrats held up an American flag and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. They were booed and heckled by the anti-American crowd.

When students held a real memorial service six days later, Snehal was on hand to disturb the solemnity with a large neon poster that read, "Don't let them turn tragedy into an excuse for war." Such was his disgust with the United States that he could not even allow students an hour's worth of peace to mourn.

Like the rest of the hard left, Snehal has adopted the Palestinians as his latest cause and currently is a leader of the campus club Students for Justice in Palestine. Though the group hides under the claim that it is only anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic, an examination of its actions shows otherwise. It is an open supporter of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah whose explicit agendas are the destruction of the Jewish state, and it regularly appropriates the images of the Holocaust to harass the campus Jewish community. This year, Snehal and his cohorts in the Students for Justice in Palestine advertised a demonstration on campus to be held on Holocaust Remembrance Day with flyers that featured large photos of Polish Jews being herded by Nazis juxtaposed with a photo of an Israeli soldier warily watching several kaffiyeh wearing Palestinians. The caption read, "Do not let it happen again."

During that demonstration, in spite of the howls from Jewish onlookers, one of the speakers said the Kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning, for the Palestinians who had been killed by the Israeli army. Students for Justice in Palestine members, many (including Snehal, who is not Palestinian) wearing the kaffiyeh in the style of the terrorists, then proceeded to take over Wheeler Hall, one of the major academic buildings on campus. Snehal was quoted describing building occupations as positive and claiming that the protesters were using "critical thinking tools" to encourage economic divestment from Israel (which they regularly and falsely describe as an "apartheid" state).

This year's occupation led to the arrest of 79 protesters including one who was charged with felony assault on a police officer and to the temporary banning of Students for Justice in Palestine as a student group (within a month the UC Administration had rescinded the ban). At a follow-up rally protesting the arrests, Hatem Bazian, a lecturer in the Middle East Studies department and member of the Students for Justice in Palestine stated, to the approval of the crowd, "If you want to know where the pressure on the university [i.e., to prosecute the trespassers who were arrested] is coming from, look at the Jewish names on the school buildings." (UC Berkeley is a state institution whose main buildings are Sproul Hall, Dwinelle Hall and Wheeler Auditorium.

Around the same time as these events, Jews in Berkeley-were the targets of a rash of anti-Semitic attacks. Two orthodox Jews were set upon and beaten, the Hillel center had a brick thrown through its window, and several synagogues received bomb threats. Flyers comparing the Israeli army to the KKK appeared around campus, and several had "kill Jews" scrawled on them. The conditions were serious enough that many Jewish students removed their yarmulkes so that they would not be the next targets. The UC Administration, which is normally hypersensitive to the least slight against ethnic groups sat on its hands. At the same time it removed its ban from the criminal trespassers, Students for Justice in Palestine, and reinstated the group as a student organization.

When students return in the fall, they will find "English instructor" Snehal Shingavi, his arms full of copies of the ISO's newspaper The Socialist Worker, flyers supporting the latest round of Palestinian terrorism, or perhaps some entirely new anti-American cause. Snehal will be tending to the revolutionary business at hand, while rushing off to teach his "English" section and indoctrinate the unsuspecting freshman who sign up for "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance."

Rory Miller graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 2002 and is attending UCLA Law. He writes for the California Patriot magazine at Berkeley and maintains a news/commentary site at

Wake Up America: My Visit To Vanderbilt
By David Horowitz | September 4, 2002

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY is a venerable institution in Nashville and the premier seat of higher learning in the state of Tennessee. Like every one of the nearly 200 colleges I have visited in the last ten years, Vanderbilt has long ceased to be a liberal institution in the meaningful sense of that term. In the hiring of its faculty and in the design of its curriculum, in the conduct of its communal dialogue and in the shape of its public square, like most American universities, Vanderbilt is for all intents and purposes an intellectual monolith -- an ideological subsidiary of the Democratic Party and the far side of the political left.

No aspect of the university system exposes this bias so readily as the process by which tribunes of the nation’s culture wars are invited to speak at college forums. Only authorized student groups with faculty sponsors can extend such invitations. Moreover, they must come up with funds to underwrite travel and lodging arrangements, along with an honorarium that can range from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on the speaker’s celebrity. If the speaker is a political activist, these appearances can provide a substantial supplement to personal income and a significant subsidy to the speaker’s political cause.

I spoke at 23 universities this spring and appeared at Vanderbilt on April 8. The invitation had come from a conservative student group called Wake Up America, which was formed three years earlier for the purpose of bringing speakers to campus. Despite its dedicated agenda, however, Wake Up America has only managed to put on four events in the three years of its existence. This is not because of a scarcity of conservative speakers ready to speak on college campuses. It is because Vanderbilt refuses to provide funds to Wake Up America to underwrite its aspirations. Vanderbilt’s attitude towards Wake Up America is in fact anything but supportive. Vanderbilt officials have treated the group like an alien presence from the moment of its conception.

Thus, when Wake Up America’s founder, Dan Eberhart, approached the Assistant Vice Chancellor and head of Student Life, Michelle Rosen, to gain approval for his group, she told him, "there is no need for your organization because a student group already exists, namely the Speakers Committee." This was an Orwellian subterfuge. The Assistant Vice Chancellor knew that the Speakers Committee was a partisan student group dedicated to bringing left-wing speakers to the Vanderbilt campus. James Carville, Ralph Nader, Kweisi Mfume and Gloria Steinem, for example, are recent visitors, courtesy of the Committee. These are pricey celebrities and the Vanderbilt student activities fund has granted the Speakers Committee $50,000 a year in the past to make their wish list real. This year the Student Finance Committee, which administers the fund, has increased the Speakers Committee grant to $63,000. By contrast, in its entire three-year existence Wake Up America has never been granted a single cent to bring conservatives to the Vanderbilt campus.

The Speakers Committee is actually only one of an array of left-wing groups that are the beneficiaries of Vanderbilt funds. In a recent press release announcing the disbursement $1,143,963 to student groups, the Student Finance Committee defined its purpose in these noble words: "to fund activities that will have broad campus appeal and that will guarantee a diversity of activities within our community." A glance at the roster of funded groups reveals, however, that this diversity principle does not extend to the realm of ideas.

While Wake Up America, receives no funds, the Vanderbilt Feminists receive $10,620; the Vanderbilt Lambda Association (a group of gay leftists) receives $12,000; the (left-wing) Middle Eastern Student Association receives $4,700; the (left-wing) Black Students Alliance receives $12,400; the (left-wing) Organization of Black Graduate & Professional Students receives $13,120; the (left-wing) Vanderbilt African Student Association receives $1,500; the Vanderbilt Association of (left-wing) Hispanic Students receives $14,200; and the (left-wing) Vanderbilt Asian American Student Association gets $15,000.

How do I know that these ostensibly ethnic associations are "left-wing?" I know it as a result of my inquiries at Vanderbilt and by my own broad range of experience with similar groups on campuses across the country. They are not only political and to the left, but they are more often than not at the extreme end of that spectrum as well. For example, when I spoke at Denison College in Ohio a few weeks before my Vanderbilt appearance, I had been preceded by Angela Davis, Denison’s official Martin Luther King Day speaker the month before. Davis is a lifelong Communist apparatchik who received a "Lenin Prize" from the East German police state during the Cold War, and remained a party member after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The official Denison website, on the other hand, describes her as "known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the United States and abroad." The university closed its offices during her speech so that the entire campus could hear her reconstructed anti-America, Marxist views.

When I spoke at Michigan State, I had been preceded by columnist Julianne Malveaux, who was also the official Martin Luther King Day speaker and who had received $15,000 from student funds some of which were supplied by the black student association. As in the case of Davis, Malveaux’s views are antithetic to King’s. She is a crudely racial Marxist who once asserted that there were "200 million white racists in America" and on another occasion expressed her wish that Clarence Thomas would have a heart attack. Her speech was called "Economic Justice: The Struggle Continues," and included attacks on Ward Connerly, Laura Bush, the idea of a colorblind society and of King as its prophet.

I had been preceded at Duke by Aaron Magruder, a black cartoonist who had gained fame through his strip "Boondocks" and notoriety for attacking America after the World Trade Center was bombed. Magruder was also the university’s official Martin Luther King Day speaker. In his speech, Magruder noted that 90% of the American people supported the war and said, "I would like to believe the 10% leftover is black." He then told the students, "your vote means nothing; you can protest if you want, they’ll throw you in jail." Davis, Malveaux and Magruder reflected the extremist sentiments of the black student groups on campus without whose imprimatur no Martin Luther King Day speaker could be selected.

At Vanderbilt, the university annually provides roughly $130,000 for left-wing agitations, including the visits of left-wing speakers. This
by this thing here
maybe the "right" should take a long hard look at themselves and their ideologies and their philosophies, all the things they have to offer an academic environment, before they start whining and blaming the "left" for all their problems. maybe they should just get off their collective ass. there's many reasons why the "left" dominates.

perhaps the "right" would have a better chance if 99% of college students were white males aged 50 instead of men and women of various races all aged 20.
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