City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Adam Freedman
Politics and the University President « Back to Story

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As interesting as is this article, it's a bit late in coming.

For at least the past half century administrators and the professoriate have corrupted the raison d'etre of a university.
Always of course "for a good cause".

Most blameworthy those of the Ivy League and Big Ten. As models for the entire university culture the corruption in the service of politics is clearly baleful. Not only for the universities, their academics and students but for the society as a whole.

The obsession of the professoriate for a preferred political system without genuine critical assessment infects virtually every subject in the "Liberal Arts".

Refusing treatment, except as unfair, unjust, and socially unequal of alternative systems. Information is of course available to the students by their own efforts.

A brave student, a brave adjunct professor, a brave untenured professor and yes even a tenured one who declines absolute unquestioning obeisance to the current culture of the university.

Universities become not so much academies for learning, but clearing houses for the glittering prizes.

AND credentialled membership among the "superior" the "elite", the "best and brightest".

Just one more commercial enterprise for the professoriate Who so admire and teach the glories of government controlled commercial AND social enterprises. WITHOUT lessons on the cost / benefits ratios of such.

Of course underlyng their admiration is Self -interest. Their own quid pro quo with politicians and their bureaucrats. Grants, low interest loans, tax forgiveness in acceptance of retrictions to their "academic freedom" and who knows what else.

Academics and Congress etc who so disdain the commercially enterprising - those evil Capitalists - do love their tenure that keeps them in their ivory tower safe havens.

Birds of a feather...?


An instructor, professor, adjunct professor, or even graduate student - not to mention applicant for entry - says goodbye to any career in those universities if not unquestionable accepting the ethos of left-wing ideologues. university professoriate if chancing a question, reservation, objection to the left wing not bias because much too entrenched but deliberate distortions of not only interpretations but facts to support the ideology of the left wing professors AND adminsitrators. Who face it are dependent in many ways on government grants and low interest loans and other emoluments - gifts - from government agencies.

Into which agencies the Left Wing ideologues of the Kennedy - Clinton - Obama ilk have insinuated their moles into policy echelons for many decades.
I've long since given up on my alma mater -- George Washington University. That institution is now a bastion of political correctness: Muslims are very welcome, for eaxmple, while Christians and Republicans can go to blazes.

Wouldn't give 'em a nickel and urge all alums to withhold donations as well.
Purdue alumni can't all be left wing, maybe they should look at the Professors that are being hired....free speech is free speech whether you like the speech or not.
Stupid that he apologized. Why not just point out the facts that are in this article, or better yet, trot out the line that socialist professors used about academic freedom for so many years until they took near total control of higher education.
The skill of politicians that a university values for its new president is fundraising, and that's it.
"As for Zinn, that "attack" consisted of opposing the introduction of Zinn's viciously partisan and intentionally false "A People's History of the United States" into Indiana's K-12 curriculum. If opposing attempts to propagandize children to favor a failed ideology that's resulted in untold human suffering where ever it's been introduced is worthy of criticism then then sign me up as an co-conspirator."

Ding, Ding, Ding we have a winner....to leftists, history and reality is whatever they decide at that moment pushes the agenda forward....it can change next week if that is need to win power.

Dishonest people say and do dishonest things and if the dismal Obama Administration has taught us anything, it is that Leftists are fundamentally dishonest people.

It is becoming quite clear that it is simply part of the DNA of the dolts who are drawn to this asinine ideology, maybe we can do some gene theraphy about this characteristic to avoid the misery and destruction which it causes.

Purdue just disgraced itself.
The old liberals are trotting out the 1960s Marxist propaganda for a new generation.
His attack on Howard Zinn was nasty and intolerant and anti-intellectual.

Zinn was an opinion journalist posing as a professor, as an examination of his bibliographies would demonstrate. (Oh, excuse me, 'bibliographical essays'. He never bothered with structured references.
Daniel's highly successful governorship was a refutation of just about everything that leftist academic ideologues pimp. I imagine even saying his name in the faculty lounge raised hackles, so you can imagine his reception when he was announced as president. For the far-left, inclusiveness and tolerance are only bumper-sticker sentiments used to shield them from criticism and give them an air of moral superiority.
@Tina Trent, thanks for the info on Benjamin LaGuer, I'd never heard of the case. He has some powerful friends!
This article is great at mixing apples and oranges. I had to google the articles myself to understand the issue, and they are different than what this article brings up. He did not apologize for speaking at a conservative think tank, he apologized for accepting money to speak at a political fundraiser after pledging to stay out of politics while president. This article left enough details to make the story more outrageous
Howard Zinn was not 'discredited', the correct term would be smeared. Would Mr Freedman please identify what in Zinn's work is at issue and not mechanically repeat a smear.
Well - the academics hiding from the real world in the university are in for a jolt when the student loan bubble bursts and cost containment is the only way out.

Parents need to look on the website FIRE and a school's liberty rating before bestowing their life savings into these schools.
Only liberals are allowed to abuse their positions and power. Didn't you know?
To understand how vile, intolerant, and small-minded academia is, you need to spend time within its ivy-covered walls. Therein lies true bigotry, sexism, homophobia and just plain nastiness. I spent 23 years in a university setting. It made me staunchly more conservative and knowing how this bunch operates. They are a breed unto themselves and this country elected this academic miscreant twice.
Is anyone surprised?
Mitch Daniels is a mensch.
Well, he deserves censure: it's not like he was using his position to make speeches advocating for the release of a man who raped and tortured an elderly woman nearly to death then continued demanding a pardon after DNA proved he was guilty, like that John Silber guy from Boston.

Silber continued to use the media and his platform as Boston University President to agitate for the release of Benjamin LaGuer after DNA proved LaGuer to be the actual offender (as did all the other evidence Silber choose to ignore). A philosopher by training, Silber offered the gobsmacking pseudo-ethical argument that LaGuer had so completely convinced himself that he was innocent that he should be given a "second chance."

The victim, an elderly woman, was found with a broken jaw and many other injuries: the cords binding her had to be peeled out from broken flesh. But Silber had helped the rapist/torturer get a fake BU creative writing degree, so I suppose this wasn't so much an external issue as a matter of not letting a student's degree go to waste.

This activism didn't harm Silber's professional career; in fact, his support of LaGuer probably helped smooth over his reputation as a "conservative." No cause or audience is too leftist for academia, and no leftist activism, however horrific or inappropriate, is ever deemed wrong by the media.

Meanwhile, the brute silencing of conservatives in academia is growing, and the pool of permitted speech dwindles. Where are the safely tenured conservative professors, all of whom should be denouncing this loudly? They are too timid.
Rich G, feel free to post a link to a video or transcript of the speech. Similarly, feel free to post a link to that purported "nasty and intolerant and anti-intellectual" so-called attack on Howard Zinn.

You can't do the first because there was no video or transcript made of the speech not that that's any impediment to jumping to ideologically convenient conclusions.

As for Zinn, that "attack" consisted of opposing the introduction of Zinn's viciously partisan and intentionally false "A People's History of the United States" into Indiana's K-12 curriculum. If opposing attempts to propagandize children to favor a failed ideology that's resulted in untold human suffering where ever it's been introduced is worthy of criticism then then sign me up as an co-conspirator.
I was once a student union President at a well known degree based college in London UK in the 1990s. I was elected on a platform of putting on as many parties as possible, my popularity and my non partisan politics. I filled the walls of my office with posters of Parliament/Funkadelic and Sly and the Family Stone. Although at the time I considered myself a little leftwing did not have much time for the politics as I was more interested in women and nightlclubs. In due course the ‘hard left’ that is the Socialist Workers Party tried to muscle in. I was having none of it, I was able to deflect their attempts to hijack a Union whose members in the main were conservative with a small c suburban middle class kids.
Having lived in Indiana, I, too, had to chuckle at the phrase, "Indiana's Cultural Elites". As for Daniels' comments re the pseudo-historian Howard Zinn, I believe that Daniels is just as entitled to his beliefs (and comments)as are those who have and who continue to criticize him for making these comments. Leave it to the Left to take the hypocritical position that speech should be free unless such speech criticizes one of their own. Sickening.
This article misses the point -- it is what he said in October that should be analyzed. His attack on Howard Zinn was nasty and intolerant and anti-intellectual. He has no right of be president of any university.
Nice article, but the outrage is misdirected. Bill Ritter made $90,000/year as Governor. His salary at CSU started at $300,000/year, and that was 3 years ago. Ritter is on the PERA retirement system, meaning that the liberal foundation that funded his position will pay for his CSU salary, but those years of high salary dictate his annual haul when he stops working and his defined benefit retirement kicks in. And guess who pays for that for the rest of his life? Hint: not the liberal foundation.
Should it surprise or shock that the Left and its Cultural Marxists, who claim to be the foremost - even to be the sole - champions of the right to dissent, are the most ruthless silencers of any individual who dares to dissent against their Leftist radical hegemony?

It has ever been thus. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?
I did giggle at the phrase "Indiana's cultural elites."
When the likes Bob Kerrey or Mitch Daniels are criticized like this for doing what they did, it's time to impose changes on our universities. These faculty members who can't stand the presence of a differing point-of-view need to find out that their intolerance won't be tolerated anymore. If they don't understand us, then it is time that they were given a chance to find a new career, like picking weeds out of an abandoned parking lot.
The rule seems to be a variation of the old Nazi rule "Kauft nicht bei Juden". Now, it's "Spricht nicht mit" anybody to the right of Howard Dean.
The road to utopia is littered with the censored
Ideas of the ideas rejected by the intolerant
Left.