16 April 2011

More On The Politicization Of Academia


Thanks to one of my readers for alerting me to a piece by the Claremont Institute on academia's decidedly liberal bent. What amazes me about this "not so new" news, is how many academic and professional historians have come to this blog claiming no such bias exists and criticizing me for pointing out something that is, at best, "anecdotal evidence." As I say quite often, that pile of anecdotal evidence is looking more and more like an elephant hiding under a rug. Even if they don't like to admit this bias, you would think they'd at least not make public denials - aren't they worried about their own credibility?

In his convocation address at the start of this school year, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, raised an important concern facing all elite liberal arts colleges, though he spoke specifically of his own school. A number of parents, he said, are unwilling to send their children to Bowdoin or to its sister schools because they are perceived to be too liberal, too out of touch with mainstream America. To his credit, Mr. Mills acknowledged this concern as legitimate. Bowdoin, he said, would benefit from a greater "diversity of views," though, as he candidly admitted, he was at a loss as to how to make it happen.

Read the complete piece here.

11 comments:

Chaps said...

The plural of anecdote is "evidence."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Good one Chaps!

Michael Aubrecht said...

I guess my question is why does it matter? There are wonderful conservative colleges like Liberty and excellent liberal ones like Berkley. Something for both sides of the spectrum.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Michael. It matters if taxpayer money is directly funding. It matters if a parent assumes objectivity. If its private - fine, as long as there's no pretense.

Michael Aubrecht said...

Find me objectivity anywhere...in anything... :)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - the point is that these "public" universities are supposed to welcome all views and diversity of viewpoints. As this article points out, that is not the case. You mention Liberty - they are very up front about their philosophy and approach - distinctively Christian. In other words, you know before hand what to expect and you go there wanting that particular type of education. That is NOT the case with many other universities.

Michael Lynch said...

Just to be clear, I want to point out yet again that my reference to "anecdotal evidence" referred to the use of news stories and incidents in primary and secondary ed, as part of my argument that most primary and secondary teachers are not hard leftists. I have never denied that political and social liberals are over-represented in higher ed, which is a different matter altogether.

My problem with the anecdotes in question in regard to painting a composite picture of primary and secondary educators was that they didn't accurately reflect the beliefs or behavior of the majority of teachers.

Lest you think I dismiss all your statements out of hand, my briefcase came apart at the seams last week, so I took the plunge and ordered one from Saddleback, partly at your recommendation. I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival.

--ML

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Michael L - great to hear from you. I know you think I'm picking on you about that, but honestly, I'm not. KL and some of those who comment on his blog, as well as other blogs, have made the same allegation.

Anyway, on the more important matter . . . you're going to love that bag. Let me know what you think once you get it. I'd like to eventually get one of the smaller ones for hiking, sight-seeing, etc. Maybe one day.

Michael Lynch said...

Thanks, Richard. I've thought about ordering one of the backpacks if the briefcase works out.

--ML

Michael Lynch said...

The briefcase arrived yesterday, and I think I'm in love with an inanimate object. That's probably unhealthy, right?

--ML

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Michael. There are much worse vices. ;o)

They're quite amazing, aren't they? Which one did you get?