What College Tuition Is Paying For
Confronting Campus Radicals
David Horowitz thinks that anybody who cares about the future of America should confront the fact that U.S. colleges and universities are the fountainhead of financing for the radical movement in America. He has personally taken up the challenge to do something about this.
Horowitz was a leftwing campus activist in the 1960s, but he says that men who were too radical even for him in the 60s now hold tenure at major universities. During the 1970s, these hardcore leftists achieved critical mass on university faculties, took control of the hiring committees, and then saw to it that only leftists were hired. Now there are literally tens of thousands of “hard-line Marxists” in academic sinecures. They have made universities “a subsidiary of the political left and the Democratic Party.”
These hard-core leftists have no shame about using the classroom podium for political speechmaking. They may be teaching a course in biology or Shakespeare, but that doesn’t inhibit them from launching into tirades against American policies or in favor of the Communists, or assigning students to write a paper on why George W. Bush is a war criminal.
The amount of money universities have to carry out their leftwing mission is mind-boggling. Whereas conservative and pro-American intellectual foundations and journals may have budgets of a few million dollars, universities have billions of dollars. A great portion is taxpayers’ money (through research grants and taxpayer-financed tuition), and in addition the leftists control most student activity assessments.
Horowitz’s new organization, Students for Academic Freedom, has attracted students on many campuses with the goal of demanding a more balanced point of view among faculty and in campus lecture series. They are promoting an Academic Bill of Rights as a policy statement for colleges to adopt, so that students can enjoy intellectual diversity with fairness for conservative viewpoints.
Feminist Propaganda in Textbooks
A woman walked into my office recently and handed me the textbook her daughter was assigned for her “Women and Gender Studies” Course at the University of Missouri/St. Louis. The title is Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions by Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. This textbook is a collection of propaganda essays to sell students on radical feminism.
One article pretends to describe a typical woman’s life in the 1970s, which supposedly included unacceptable horrors of inequality. The student is supposed to learn that feminism saved women from oppression by the patriarchy. Other articles teach that being male is a privileged status, just like being white or heterosexual.
The authors teach that the roles of male and female are merely learned behaviors and you can change to the other gender if you want to. Bisexuality and trans-sexuality are presented as normal. The textbook includes personal stories of adults who changed their gender. The book explains that heterosexuality exists only because of socially imposed stereotypes and homophobia, and has nothing to do with nature or morality. Students are encouraged to organize a National Coming Out Day on their campus.
A couple of articles in this textbook discuss that it is common for women to be bisexual. Of course, the book endorses abortion. The traditional model of the family is presented as only one of many forms of family. The book teaches that married women should be liberated from marriage and turn their children over to the state to be raised. This college textbook has a radical feminist political agenda: anti-marriage, anti-homemaker, pro-abortion, and pro-lesbian. College students should not waste their tuition dollars taking women’s studies courses.
Definition of ‘Politically Correct’
The prevailing environment on most college campuses is what is called Political Correctness — in faculty bias, course content, visiting speakers, and organizations and events funded by student fees. Here are the principal tenets of the campus dogma known as Political Correctness:
Everything is political. All academic subjects must be seen through the prism of gender and race oppression, including history, literature, social relationships, and even private conversation. Most students encounter this immediately in their freshman English class. The writings of the DWEMs (Dead White European Males) have been censored out and replaced with Oppression Studies: writings by third-rate authors who whine about America’s oppressive society.
Victimology. Every group is entitled to claim minority status as victims except white males and Christians.
Multiculturalism. That’s a code word for the false notion that Western Civilization is bad and every other group, whether civilized or not, is superior.
Radical feminism. The entire world must be seen as one big conspiracy against women, and all men are guilty, both individually and as a group. Joking about this doctrine is not permitted; several colleges have even banned jokes. At Arizona State University, drama professor Jared Sakren was fired for producing Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew; Shakespeare is not Politically Correct.
Affirmative action. Reverse discrimination in admissions, grading, and employment for groups that proclaim their status as “victims” is not only mandatory, it is non-debatable.
Having sex with anybody, anytime, is OK and may not be criticized. Dating is out; “hooking up” is in. The social acceptance of pre-marital and homosexual sex and activism is non-debatable.
Tolerance. That’s a code word meaning tolerance for Politically Correct views, but not for the Politically Incorrect. Tolerance requires conformity to P.C. views, and hundreds of colleges have speech codes.
Christianity is Politically Incorrect. In some colleges, students are not permitted to turn in papers that identify historic dates as B.C. (Before Christ) or A.D. (Anno Domini), but must use B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).
Christianity Under Attack
If you don’t yet realize that Christianity is under attack in America, here is evidence that might wake you up. Rollins College in central Florida has ruled that Christian student clubs that require their officers to be Christian are in violation of the college’s “non-discrimination policy.” Rollins College further ruled, as part of its non-discriminiation policy, that all Christian student groups that refuse to allow their leaders and officers to be non-Christian cannot receive any university funds normally given to student groups. The organization that was the victim of this ruling was the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It’s hard to believe, but the Rollins College board of trustees voted unanimously not to exempt this student organization from its ruling. This ruling means that the InterVarsity Chistian Fellowship can no longer receive funding and will no longer be recognized as an official campus organization.
Rollins College was not the first college to make such an offensive decision. Vanderbilt University in Tennessee adopted the same rule. Colleges that were founded as Christian institutions are now forbidden to have Christian leaders of student groups!
Carol Swain, professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt whom you may have seen sometime on TV interviews, publicly criticized these rulings. She said “This hastily conceived policy has the potential to destroy every religious organization on campus by secularizing religion and allowing intolerant conflict. Carried to its logical extension, it means that no organization can maintain integrity of beliefs.”
What Colleges Are Teaching
Dennis Prager wrote an interesting column asking parents to meditate on what colleges are teaching their kids for the $20,000 to $50,000 tuition they are paying. Here is part of Dennis Prager’s depressing list of what colleges are teaching.
The United States is no better than any other country, and in many ways it’s worse. Big government is the only humane way to govern a country. Christianity is largely a history of oppression, inquisitions, and anti-intellectualism. On the other hand, Islam is a religion of peace. Therefore, criticism of Christianity is OK, while criticism of Islam is Islamophobia. There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught about Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than Guatemalan poets, Asian musicians, and Indian storytellers was Western fascination with dead white European men.
Continuing with Dennis Prager’s list of what colleges are teaching: Mothers and fathers are interchangeable; traditional claims that married mothers and fathers are the ideal way to raise children are heterosexist and homophobic. White people can be racist, but nonwhites cannot be racist. The great world battles are not between good and evil, but between rich and poor, between the powerful and the powerless. We live in a patriarchy, which makes women victims of men. Big corporations are bad; big unions are good. The American Founders were sexist, racist slaveholders whose primary goal was preserving their wealthy status.
Dennis Prager concludes by saying, if you think he has exaggerated the anti-American propaganda taught at major universities, you can check it out by visiting any college bookstore and seeing what books are assigned by instructors for their students to read.
A One-Party Classroom
It should come as no surprise that American universities are dominated by leftwing professors. But the extent to which many teachers seek to indoctrinate their students and draw them into radical activism will amaze you. This is documented in the book called One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy by David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin. The authors painstakingly researched the course offerings and teaching methods at 12 major universities and described a dozen courses at each one, quoting from course catalogues, syllabi, and the professors’ own writings.
Course after course is dedicated to the thesis that Marxism never failed, that differences between men and women have no basis in reality but are socially constructed by society, and that America is an oppressive and racist society. Professors do not advance these opinions as mere theories to be discussed, but assert them as though they are facts that all must accept. They use their classroom time to inculcate these and other radical ideas in their students. Courses devoted to race present a terribly skewed vision of the world, but this sort of teaching is in nearly all courses, regardless of subject.
At Columbia Teachers College, students learn that non-Socialist societies are the root cause of all violence. A course description at the University of California/Santa Cruz declares, “The goal of this seminar is to learn how to organize a revolution.” A University of Arizona course description announces proudly, “Here it is, activism for credit! Give four hours to a social activism organization and I’ll give you 200 points!” The instructor lists a number of very left-wing social movements that students are encouraged to join. Another course takes identity politics to a whole new level with the assertion that race, class, gender, and religion all “constitute significant forms of oppression.”
At Temple University, the mandatory two-year “Intellectual Heritage” course devotes much time and energy to Karl Marx, while excusing the devastation that Marxism brought to the world. These courses indoctrinate students with leftist ideologies and lower academic standards. Professors believe their political convictions excuse them from rigorous standards of academic inquiry.
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) spent two years examining graduation requirements, reading lists, and course descriptions, and interviewing students and faculty at the University of California. The conclusion is that radical leftist politics have robbed California students of a good education. The quality of teaching has been badly reduced.
The report also told about the universities’ lack of political balance. In 2004, UC Berkeley had 8 Democratic professors to 1 Republican. Then the ratio got much, much worse. Within a few years, UC Berkeley had 17 Democrats to 1 Republican in the humanities departments, and 21 Democrats to 1 Republican in the social sciences. The report said that this ratio cannot be accidental. It had to be the result of discrimination in the hiring process.
The NAS concluded that university administrators have failed to ensure that students get a quality education and instead have used the university to promote a left-wing political agenda. The California universities have all sorts of rules that sound good on paper and are supposed to prevent this kind of bias. For example, the Regents’ Policy on Course Content states that the regents “are responsible to see that the university . . . never functions as an instrument for the advance of partisan interest.” Obviously the professors pay no attention to those rules.
Colleges Are Big on Diversity
Universities are crying that their appropriations of state funds have been “cut to the bone,” but here is how one college department at the University of California at San Diego is not only not cutting expenses, but is significantly increasing faculty costs and raising tuition rates. It created a new Department of Diversity, with a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position will augment that university’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.
The main purpose of spending taxpayers’ money for all this diversity nonsense is probably to make respectable some of the worthless college courses such as gender studies, queer studies, and ethnics studies. I hope the students attending the California universities will have the smarts to NOT waste their tuition dollars on such worthless courses.
It’s important for students to know before they go to college that diversity doesn’t mean allowing conservatives to speak on campus, either as visiting lecturers or professors, except for occasional tokenism. Diversity on college campuses doesn’t mean giving fair coverage to the ideas and achievements of Western civilization, but it does mean featuring a lot of offbeat concepts. It’s important for students to know that multiculturalism doesn’t mean tolerance and respect for all cultures. It’s just another college fad to put down Western civilization.
The intolerant liberals who run most colleges have adopted campus speech codes which are outrageous violations of our free speech rights. These notorious campus speech codes punish students and even professors who say anything that someone might find offensive. The feminists are vigorous backers of campus speech codes because they don’t want feminist follies to be debated and, besides, feminists have no sense of humor. Some college speech codes have even banned inappropriate jokes.
Colleges Dangerous for Men
College is a dangerous place for men. They are not only a minority but they are victimized by discriminatory and unconstitutional anti-male rules. In another striking proof that the Obama Administration is totally manipulated by feminists, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent out a 19-page Dear Colleague Letter to colleges and universities that should make men fear attending college at all. The letter adopts the feminist theory that in all sexual controversies or accusations, the man is guilty unless he proves himself innocent.
This Dear Colleague Letter carries the force of law since it purports to be an additional implementation of Title IX, the 1972 federal law that bans sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal assistance. But it was never legislated by Congress, and it was not even launched as a regulation that requires posting for comment in the Federal Register. It is just a federal order, issued by a feminist bureaucrat, which colleges and universities must obey under threat of losing their funding.
The most unconstitutional part of this impertinent Dear Colleague Letter is that it orders colleges to reject use of the standard of proof that an accused man must be judged guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” or even the intermediate standard of “clear and convincing” proof. Instead, the colleges must judge an accused man based on “a preponderance of the evidence” standard. That means the campus disciplinary board (which may include feminist faculty from the Women’s Studies Department) only has to believe that the female accuser is 51% likely to be truthful and accurate. Furthermore, the Letter “strongly discourages” colleges from permitting an accused man “to question or cross-examine the accuser” during the hearing.
A man convicted under these rules will likely be expelled, barred from graduate or professional school and some government jobs, suffer irreparable damage to his reputation, and possibly be exposed to criminal prosecution.
Victory for One Conservative
One college professor who has been outspoken for conservative principles is Mike Adams at the University of North Carolina. His life has had some interesting developments. When Dr. Adams began his University career in 1993, he was an outspoken atheist and liberal. During those years, he was widely praised in the university for his teaching and scholarship, and he achieved tenure in 1998 without any controversy.
Then Mike Adams had a life-changing experience in 1998. He visited a mentally handicapped prisoner on death row in a Texas prison and was struck by the fact that this prisoner had read the entire Bible, which Mike Adams had not read. Dr. Adams decided to read the Bible, and he had a religious conversion. He became a Christian, and after that became a conservative, too. Dr. Adams then began writing a column for Townhall.com that sharply criticized leftwing actions in universities. The reaction in his own university was furious. When he applied for promotion to full professorship in 2006, Dr. Adams was subjected to secret investigations and all kinds of discriminatory treatment.
Finally, Dr. Adams sued his university for violating his First Amendment right of free speech. Of course, his case dragged on and on for several years. Finally his case went to a jury which recently found in favor of Dr. Adams’ free-speech rights. The jury found that the University of North Carolina’s denial of First Amendment rights was a “substantial or motivating factor” in the university’s decision not to promote him to full professor. Even though the university is appealing the verdict, Dr. Adams has won a historic appeals-court ruling in favor of academic freedom for a conservative professor.