By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil –
What has happened to universities and colleges, school that once identified themselves as sanctuaries for free speech, tolerance, and diversity? Why did they abandon that excellent goal as an open market place for thought and ideas, to become instead institutions of indoctrination to a specific political viewpoint?
It is an understatement to say that there is a lack of political diversity within our nation’s schools of higher learning, when every survey indicates self-proclaimed liberal professors significantly dominate our colleges and universities. Democrat Neil Gross, a professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, investigated this issue and agreed that Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 4 to 1 among professors; by at least 6 to 1 at elite universities; and by still higher ratios in departments of the humanities and social sciences.
Those facts alone should be troublesome at several levels. It is an indication that hiring practices could be favoring a specific mindset, possibly for the purpose of achieving a specific desired result. Professors have enormous power over their students, which enables them to persuade vulnerable students to accept their political and social opinions. The important question is whether professors actually take advantage of their position of power to do so?
They absolutely do take advantage, according to the testimony of college students and a study on the subject by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin who recently investigated the issue. By scrutinizing course catalogs, reading lists, professors’ biographies, scholar records, and most of all testimonies of students and faculty, they found violations of academic standards and systematic indoctrination, some of which could be considered not just liberal, but liberal to the degree of being classified as politically radical.
Those of us who did not experience college classrooms as indoctrination centers wonder how and/or why this liberal dominance was allowed to take place? The fact professors are given great latitude in what and how they teach, makes the inequality troubling. Professors are not required to create a fair and balanced classroom of ideas, nor is there evidence of repercussions when proof of obvious indoctrination has occurred. Professors not only have tenure, but deans, presidents, and faculty are often sympathetic, if not in lock-step, with the professors’ liberal views and agenda. attention is paid to how a one-sided indoctrination is harming students’ scope of knowledge, understanding, and success when they leave classrooms for the real world. Imagine that you are a freshman at college, eager to learn and devoted to making top grades, when your beloved professor begins to lecture on a hot, divisive political topic. You discover that your professor is taking a position that is very much opposed to your personal beliefs. The way the lecture proceeds, you become acutely aware he is consistently labeling those who hold your belief and viewpoint in contempt, by using a variety of negative adjectives. To make matters worse, everyone in the classroom is laughing and seems to be in total agreement with the professor.
Without any fear of losing their positions or being disciplined in any way, liberal professors are unconcerned about complaints or negative consequences. Whether they behave bullishly to scare some students into silence, or have persuasive personalities that quietly and systematically convince students their parent’s principles, philosophies, and values are incorrect, the result is the same: students are leaving with only one viewpoint on issues and thus are unprepared to listen or debate opposing opinions with an open mind.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, at a commencement address at Harvard in May, sharply criticized liberal students, professors, and administrators across the country for their pattern of silencing the voices of those with whom they disagreed, accusing them of “censorship” and a modern-day form of McCarthyism. Bloomberg’s legitimate concern may have stemmed from the fact that 96% of the Harvard faculty and employees donated to Obama’s reelection campaign. Certainly that large donation figure would seem to add proof to Bloomberg’s assertions.
Bias in education deserves more exposure
In what should have been a shocker, Emily Esfahani Smith, in a special to The Washington Times on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, wrote about a peer-reviewed study of political diversity in the field of social psychology. Liberal professors admitted they would discriminate against conservatives in hiring and advancement. According to Smith, the anti-conservative bias is real and pronounced. It is not a respectable position to hold in universities where Republicans are maligned and publicly degraded if they listen to Rush Limbaugh or are Fox News enthusiasts. These certainly are explosive facts the public deserves to know, but few media sources expose.
The excerpts noted below are from the article Liberal Bias in Education: Campus, Classroom and College. It offers more evidence of what is being taught in our classrooms of higher learning and additional proof that American citizens deserve to know the facts.
Bias in academia more often than not is liberal bias. Many professors and students admit to possessing liberal ideologies or Democratic voting tendencies. It is natural and right for liberal students and professors to freely express their liberal philosophies, but is it right for liberal professors to continually advance their ideas in the classroom while squelching all other opinions? Certainly, the answer to that must be absolutely No.
Universities are the breeding grounds for a variety of ideas and thought processes. Students who attend American colleges and universities should be able to gain a well-rounded view of their country, its founding principles, and ideas – from all points on the political spectrum – that continue to shape and mold our future. Unfortunately, today’s colleges have drifted away from these ideals and become bastions of liberal thought and activism.
Consider Professor Smith, a professor at the University of North Carolina and a supporter of traditional marriage, whose conservative opinions make him an outcast in the academic community. An online commenter not only called for the professor to resign, but went so far as to claim Smith was “the biggest embarrassment to higher education in America”. Professor Smith responded to that criticism by describing the antics of liberal professors, official campus groups, and then invited campus speakers at other North Carolina institutes of higher learning, as noted below, so objective people could determine and judge what constitutes legitimate cause for embarrassment:
- In the early spring semester of 2013, a women’s studies professor and a psychology professor at Western Carolina University co-sponsored a panel on bondage and S&M. The purpose of the panel was to teach college students how to inflict pain on themselves and others for sexual pleasure.
- At UNC Chapel Hill, there is a feminist professor who believes that women can lead happy lives without men. That’s nothing new. But what is different is that she thinks women can form life-long domestic partnerships with dogs and that those relationships will actually be fulfilling enough to replace marital relationships with men.
- A feminist administrator at UNC-Wilmington sponsored a pro-abortion event. During the event they sold tee shirts saying “I had an abortion” to students who … well, had abortions. Students were encouraged to boast about the fact that they had killed their own unborn infants.
If this is happening in North Carolina, what is happening throughout the university system in states like California, New York, Washington state, Illinois, etc., which are funded by tax paying citizens? We know rape has become a major issue on college campuses throughout America. An investigation indicated the number of reported sexual assaults on college campuses has increased by 50 percent over the last decade. Liberals argue the increase is not linked to provocative classes in which students are given heavy doses of sexual information, such as details of how to best perform intimate sex acts. Conservatives believe that casual approach to sensitive personal issues has created a general decline in morality, the proof of which is evidenced in the increased rate of rape.
Consider how many colleges, especially Ivy League schools, begin their school year with thousands of students experiencing what they call “Sex Week”. That week includes everything from students going nude around the college campus to school sponsored sex classes that teach exceedingly personal sexual information. Discussing sexual acts and behavior during college “Sex Week” may not be responsible for the rapes, but the increase does coincide with the blatant, permissive campus sexual atmosphere. Do we really want our young adults to treat sex with the same casual behavior as they do deciding what to have for breakfast? Sexual intimacy was once something so sacred, we encouraged our young people to reserve and share it with only one special person. Today, colleges appear to have no respect for those standards or viewpoint, and thus neither do its students.
What has changed on the campuses that might encourage the extraordinary increase in rape? Administrators claim there is no significant increase, but that rape is just being more widely reported. Really? How would administrators ever know that if rapes went unreported? Conservatives claim the initiating of a liberal sexual culture on college campuses is the one factor that coincides with the rape increase. The subject deserves a bi-partisan investigation to determine if “Sex Week” is a factor. Most college administrators believe drinking and drugs are a factor, largely seen at fraternity parties. Some colleges have now banned fraternities from their campuses, which might help determine if excessive drinking has been a factor. Unfortunately, the good students, those who are quite responsible and who do not even drink, end up being punished by the restrictions too. It has been pointed out that there have always been frat parties and drinking, so why is rape suddenly happening?
There is a growing outcry from the public for colleges and universities that accept federal funding to prove there is no bias in their hiring practices. Parents are demanding their children should be guaranteed a safe environment, not one that leaves coeds in fear of being raped. The challenge is to convince our college administrators that the trend which ushered in significant increases in liberal professors, a monopoly of liberal classes, plus highly charged events, such as “Sex Week”, may not be benefiting the students, but instead harming them.
Schools are not meant to entertain, they are to challenge students, and thus create responsible citizens prepared for their future. That is best accomplished when students are given all sides of issues without any bias, and thus allowed to be critical thinkers who act and think responsibly not just in college, but in their careers, marriage, and parenting skills throughout their lives.
Part Two will explore why are colleges and universities are dominated by Liberals.