Thursday, March 10, 2005


But it's not the lying Ward Churchill. It's a real scholar! And they sacked him for "racism" -- a man who has black adopted children! Way to go!

Mitchell isn't as alluring as Churchill. He doesn't hold tenure - or a plastic AK-47. Only bachelor's and master's degrees in education, as well as a doctorate in American social history from CU. He began teaching history in 1984, and in 1998, Mitchell won the prestigious SOAR Award for teacher of the year.

Recently, William Wei, director of the Sewall Academic Program, let Mitchell know that CU would not be renewing his contract after this year because "his teaching was not up to the department standards." (While Wei confirmed this to me, Joyce Nielsen, associate dean for Social Sciences, denies she gave that reasoning for Mitchell's deal.)

As a conservative, and even worse, a ghastly evangelical Christian, Mitchell wondered how he lasted this long. "I've had enough. I am clearly being closed out for political or religious reasons," Mitchell says. "I am one of the top-rated professors in the history of the department."

Wei, hardly a conservative, says that in his perspective, "Phil is a great person, a good teacher and highly regarded by his students." Faculty course questionnaires confirm what students think of him. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything but an A+.

But it's never been easy. Mitchell taught at the Hallett Diversity Program for 24 straight semesters. That is, until he made the colossal error of actually presenting a (gasp!) diverse opinion, quoting respected conservative black intellectual Thomas Sowell in a discussion about affirmative action.

Sitting 5 feet from a pink triangle that read "Hate-Free Zone," the progressive head of the department berated Mitchell, calling him a racist. "That would have come as a surprise to my black children," explains Mitchell, who has nine kids, as of last count, two of them adopted African-Americans.

Then, Mitchell had the audacity to use a book on liberal Protestantism in the late 19th century. So repulsed by the word "god" was one student, she complained, and the department chair fired him without a meeting, he said. Was there a protest for academic freedom? Bullhorns? Power to the people? Conceivably, if Mitchell would have used a less-offensive book - say the Churchill classic "Perversions of Justice" (Ward's hobby?) - he could have rallied the Kool-Aid brigade lickety split.

In time, Mitchell was reinstated but was never able to teach in the history department again. "People say liberals run the university. I wish they did," Mitchell says. "Most liberals understand the need for intellectual diversity. It's the radical left that kills you."

More here. (Via Betsy Newmark)


Students of Hudson High School in Massachusetts are not allowed to form a conservative political club because the school administration believes the ideas involved are objectionable.

As, what the schools believes is a balanced response, "Over the next year," said school principal John Stapelfeld, "the entire Hudson High School community will implement a governance model based on democratic town meetings." Democracy is a wonderful model, but only if, in the process, you make effort to allow for the free exchange of ideas and do not squash ideas that conflict with yours. Some how I do not see that happening in this case.

To take this a step further, the administration also blocked access to the HSCCA website. HSCCA stands for High School Conservative Clubs of America. In the right context, I can agree with the administrator, but only if there is no hypocrisy. Of course that is not the case here either.

Even though the administrator has banned the formation of the conservative group, he still allowed a poster in the classroom of Social Studies teacher Beth Ferns to remain. This poster is filled with quotes that negatively portray President George W. Bush. Ferns encourages her students to bring in other political posters and says that the poster is "basically to spark discussion." Ms. Ferns obviously did not take a neutral stance. How likely is it that her students might bring in pro-Bush posters?

Adding insult the the conservative students, the Stapelfeld sponsored a "Blue Day" to celebrate homosexuals. He allowed students to distribute copies of Fahrenheit 911. This further amplifies the lack of balance in the leadership of the administration.

More here. See also here


A historian and former Sandinista leader who helped overthrow Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza is no longer scheduled to teach classes at Harvard Divinity School this spring after she said she was denied a visa because of her role in alleged "terrorist activity."

Dora Maria Tellez applied for a student visa to study English last year at the University of San Diego.

She then planned to teach in Cambridge this spring as a visiting professor, although she had not yet applied for the required teaching visa. But once the student visa was denied, Tellez told Harvard of- ficials that she would not be teaching classes on religion and society because she expected her teaching visa would also be rejected.

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

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