Saturday, November 18, 2006


A thoroughly Fascist lesson to teach their students

The elitist cocoon within which academia is embedded was on full display in last week's post-election performance by Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan. Voters in Michigan, like voters in California and the state of Washington before them, had just given 58-42 percent approval to a ballot proposal banning the use of race-based preferences in state hiring, contracting and university admissions. Rather than accept such an affront to the gods of diversity, Coleman took to the streets to denounce Michigan's benighted voters and threaten a lawsuit to overturn the result.

"Diversity matters at Michigan," she blustered to a howling mob of hundreds of student and faculty protestors in Ann Arbor. "It matters today, and it will matter tomorrow." She went on to announce that she has "directed our general counsel to consider every legal option available to us." In other words, to paraphrase a politician from another, unlamented era, "preferences today, preferences tomorrow, preferences forever." Moreover, the university may now go to the breathtakingly arrogant extreme of using taxpayer funds to try to undo what the taxpayers and voters approved by a landslide margin.

Never mind that a similar lawsuit was rejected by the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after California's similar Prop 209 was approved a decade ago, or that opponents of Michigan's Proposal 2 had already tried -- and failed -- to get courts to throw the measure off the ballot before the election on various trumped-up charges.

Coleman's rant reflected the degree to which academia remains firmly in thrall to political correctness. A national survey of more than 1,200 professors at four-year colleges and universities in the spring of 2005 by the Institute of Jewish & Community Research, a nonpartisan group in San Francisco, found that professors were three times as likely to call themselves "liberal" as "conservative." And that probably understates the case, since most of the rest are middle of the road only by comparison to their brethren.

Thus if Coleman had not toed the line, she could expect to share the fate of Harvard University's ex-president, Lawrence Summers, who was run off campus by faculty radicals (and a gutless Board of Overseers) after being caught musing about the mere possibility that gender might play some role in career decisions. The egalitarian fringe would prefer to suppress dissent than to permit open discussion of such matters.

Coleman can't complain that Michigan voters didn't know what was at stake on Nov. 7. Virtually the entire political, business, union and academic establishment of Michigan had combined to mount a noisy, mendacious campaign against Proposal 2 that outspent the pro-Prop 2 forces by nearly four to one. And this followed years of lively national debate over the use of racial preferences by the University of Michigan in its admissions process. The U.S. Supreme Court tried to split the difference in the Michigan cases, ruling that a more "holistic" use of race and ethnicity was allowable. But even that was too much for Michigan's voters -- perhaps because they were aware that minorities continue to gain a huge advantage over white applicants with equal qualifications.

Public colleges and universities across the country constantly moan about lack of taxpayer support. Maybe they should take a long, hard look in the mirror. Voters -- and tuition-paying parents -- might be forgiven for wondering what their kids are being taught when prominent schools like the University of Michigan show such contempt for the voters and the democratic process.


Professors fear political correctness

Amusing how the writer below tries to twist the finding into showing Leftist professors as being the intimidated ones -- the usual Leftist inversion of reality

A new survey reports 63 percent of college professors feel their colleagues aren't expressing their opinions when their opinions aren't the dominant view on campus. The findings were published in "Political Beliefs and Behavior" by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research released Oct. 18. The online survey polled 1,269 professors in four-year colleges and departments, co-author Aryeh K. Weinberg said. "Our goal was to set a document about the general self-identification of conservative and liberals on campus," Weinberg said.

The survey asked professors' opinions about domestic and foreign issues by asking whether they agreed with statements such as, "Many of the problems that now exist in Middle Eastern countries can be traced to misguided American policies," along with asking professors their party affiliation and voting history. The objective of the survey was to find the general political views and leanings of college professors, Weinberg said. The survey also found college professors are overwhelmingly liberal, are opposed to American unilateralism, trust international organizations and distrust big business.

University of Nevada, Reno sociology professor Markus Kemmelmeier wasn't surprised by the results. Kemmelmeier said college professors might not want to share their opinion because students who disagree might stop listening to them. "Expressing my views and opinions can come at a great cost," Kemmelmeier said. "You always run the risk of losing the students that don't believe in your views."

Political science professor Eric Herzik said more self-censorship might be because of a rise in conservative students. Herzik said conservative professors used to be more closely scrutinized because of the large numbers of liberal students. "These days more conservative students are more active in defending their beliefs," Herzik said.

Kemmelmeier and Herzik said that even though instructors are self-censoring more, it might not be a bad thing. Because professors are more conscious of what they are saying it could lead to more balanced teaching. But Kemmelmeier and Herzik both agreed that tenure could affect whether professors express themselves or not. Herzik said untenured professors have more to lose than tenured professors, because professors who have tenure are harder to fire than untenured professors.

"The simple reason is it's a risk factor," Kemmelmeier said. If tenured professors received complaints from students it would most likely affect their pay and not their job, Herzik said. But if an untenured professor received complaints it would weaken their chances of becoming tenured and staying at that institution, Herzik said.

Contrary to the findings, managerial science professor Yvonne Stedham said she hasn't seen much self-censorship in the College of Business. A common perception is that the College of Business is predominately conservative, Stedham said. Though the survey reports business faculty are the most conservative professors on campus, Stedham said there is no predominating political leaning one way or another. Stedham said professors discussed their opinions openly in informal conversations or in meetings.



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.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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