Sunday, July 19, 2009

Campus Hostility Towards Political Diversity at UO

The University of Oregon (UO), where I study journalism, invested millions annually in a diversity program that explicitly included "political affiliation" as a component. Yet, out of the 111 registered Oregon voters in the departments of journalism, law, political science, economics, and sociology, there were only two registered Republicans.

A number of conservative students told me they felt Republican ideas were frequently caricatured and rarely presented fairly. Did the dearth of conservative professors on campus and apparent marginalization of ideas on the right belie the university's commitment to providing a marketplace of ideas?

In my column, published in the campus newspaper The Oregon Daily Emerald June 1, I suggested that such a disparity hurt UO. I argued that the lifeblood of higher education was subjecting students to diverse viewpoints and the university needed to work on attracting more conservative professors.

I also suggested that students working on right-leaning ideas may have difficulty finding faculty mentors. I couldn't imagine, for instance, that journalism that supported the Iraq war or gun rights would be met with much enthusiasm.

What I didn't realize is that journalism that examined the dominance of liberal ideas on campus would be addressed with hostility.

~From the Christian Science Monitor commentary, "Nearly All My Professors Are Democrats. Isn't That A Problem?"

From the original article in the UO student newspaper:

There needs to be movement - along with intellectual consistency - on the issue of political diversity by faculty and administrators. If queried, most professors would likely agree that a university with only 2-percent Democrats would be inadequate. However, when the discrepancy is in their favor, they appear uninspired to act.

As a student, I want a campus full of professors not only from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, but different political backgrounds as well. I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate. That's what true diversity means to me. I want that more than free football tickets, a new basketball arena or pretty much anything else a University could offer. In exchange for paying $20,000 in tuition a year, I think I deserve it. Don't you?

HT: Mike Munger


At 7/19/2009 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Marxists, Independents and anyone with a halfway decent idea that doesn't incorporate hate.

Marxists? What, no fascists?? He may as well study Phrenology. And wouldn't the "halfway decent idea" qualifier rule out Democrats as well?

At 7/19/2009 2:50 PM, Anonymous PotatoChef said...

The consequences of believing in something with such fevor, that you turn a blind eye to any other ideas, has consequences far beyond the higher education institutions of our society.

"Big" solutions to major problems are seldom solved with just one point of view.

Throughout history, even American history, if only viewpoint was ever aheared to we would not have survived as an civilazation or as a country.

Business does not do well when it adheres to one point of GM, Chrysler. Somebody should have been yelling from the mountain tops that another strategy based on different business prinicpals were needed.

But no...One point of view led to failure.

It is a shame that democrats and republicans find loyalty to their party and ideology more important than loyalty to the truth.

At 7/19/2009 4:37 PM, Anonymous Ἐγκώμιον Shill said...

Marxists? What, no fascists??

Is this a free country? Inexpensive.

Support your local diversity. It is more fun to torch.

I was just reading about a foreign country where "Free Masons" were jailed recently for practicing witchcraft without proper broomsticks. They were able to escape, however, by turning the police into frogs. In parting they urged everyone to support the Un-American Activities Party and to vote for the violent overthrow of Senator McCarthy.

If they were allowed to say all that, you just gotta admit, "this must truly be a freak country."

At 7/19/2009 6:36 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

More support for the notion of not publicly funding Universities. We would just tell this kid "Quit your whining, and go find a school that DOES have such diversity."

At 7/19/2009 6:56 PM, Blogger Hot Sam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7/19/2009 7:16 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Yeah, Let's celebrate diversity...

At 7/19/2009 9:34 PM, Blogger KO said...

In grad school, so theoretically a real time for independent thought, a friend bought up some points in a class that were entirely reasonable.

It was a discussion among students and not a situation where the professor had expressed any opinion that was being challenged.

But apparently they conflicted with her liberal view of the world. She pulled him aside after the class and asked "What is your problem?" And made it pretty clear what views she wanted to hear in the class. Being smart students, several of us just towed the party line after that, and got A's.

This professor has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize so is no slacker. Her intolerance was the most blatant, but was not a rarity in the schools I've attended.

At 7/19/2009 10:15 PM, Blogger Hot Sam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7/20/2009 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL nothing new here, I can remember my Sociology professor railing against the rape of
America by BIG oil in the early 70's at Southern Connecticut State of course he knew nothing of business, or economics....

My son, many years later seeking to lampoon the "correct" politics of Ohio State put up posters for a fictitious Squirrel Hunting Club on campus with a dormant email address and got a predominance of hate mail from the correct thinkers....

At 7/20/2009 9:04 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Someone is keeping an eye on the radical leftists overrunning the UCLA campus: The Dirty Thirty


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