Monday, February 28, 2005
Caught in a Visegrip
As Newt Gingrich says, the construct of “academic freedom” is the making of universities. It is thus capable of being abolished or modified as they see fit, since it isn’t law, and it isn’t embedded in the Constitution. It is a tradition, observed by academia in order to insulate their professorial staff from arbitrary firing practices and witch hunts because of their writings, teachings and speeches. This can be used also to attract fiery academics who otherwise might go elsewhere to achieve the freedom of expression they desire.
For as long as I can remember, radical academics have hidden behind that shield of academic freedom, so that their worst sins of thought could be continued in their lifetime. By what seems to be a deliberate policy, radical professors who became heads of departments could hire other professors; more radicals, naturally. Today, more that 80% of all professors are Left wing through that process. Our kids are being exposed to this radicalism every day of their classroom life, and that is an expensive and unexpected brainwashing! The campus has become a recruiting ground for extremists of all sorts.
That this condition remains in effect, together with tenure (another structure of universities that could be abolished), makes it very difficult for administrations to rid themselves of professors who discredit the university. They have a pact with their professorial staff which the professors hold very close to heart, since droves of them might well be let go for cause, as they would be in industry.
The sickness goes much further, however. It reaches into the upper management of universities as well. The boards and administrations of universities do not want to turn their backs on either “pure academic freedom” or tenure. Thus the situation will fester along. We are in a viselike grip of our own making! Meanwhile our students will suffer under Left wing nuts like Ward Churchill and Noam Chomsky.