Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Colorado: academic freedom only for leftists


While University of Colorado officials defend controversial professor Ward Churchill in the name of free speech, an evangelical Christian professor at the school claims he's about to be dismissed for religious or political reasons.

...After quoting respected black intellectual Thomas Sowell in a discussion about affirmative action, Mitchell was berated as a racist.

"That would have come as a surprise to my black children," said Mitchell, who has nine children, two of them adopted African-Americans.

Then, says Harsanyi, the professor used a book on liberal Protestantism in the late 19th century.

Harsanyi writes: "So repulsed by the word 'god' was one student, she complained, and the department chair fired him without a meeting."

This is the same university that has defended the vile claims of Ward Churchill --who has been accused of academic fraud-- on the grounds of academic freedom and "free speech". But a highly-respected professor who takes non-leftist positions is being summarily fired.

What is going on at the University of Colorado is fraud. It is extremist indoctrination masquerading as intellectual inquiry. It is also undemocratic, since the university accepts public funding while refusing to be accountable to the public. A Student Bill of Rights with definite enforcement provisions seems now like the minimum of what should be done. I understand that some academics don't like the idea of solutions imposed by law, but there are certain universities that simply don't police themselves, where extremists wield almost total power without any accountability to anyone except their fellow extremists. This is not an environment conducive to learning but great for indoctrination, and the public shouldn't be forced to pay for it.

With cancer, mutation in the DNA of a cell leads to that cell replicating itself and forming a mass in the body, which does not contribute to the health of the body but lives as a parasite within it, until it kills the body. Extreme leftism --not leftist ideas,, but the -ism that tolerates no dissent-- has become a cancer in academia, and the current system for hiring and tenure protects this cancer from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.