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what is wrong with our universities?

Reader comment on item: My Disrupted Talk at UCLA

Submitted by gary fouse (United States), Jul 15, 2007 at 22:15

What is Wrong on our University Campuses?

In the interest of full disclosure, I am presently a part-time teacher of English as a Second Language at a major California university. (UC Irvine). I must admit that I enjoy working at UCI. After a first career of working for DEA, this new life is pretty relaxing. The students are congenial (coming from mostly Asian countries, where teachers are respected) and my colleagues are likewise. Some even share my conservative world view. However, one always has to consider what university department is involved.

ESL teachers tend to be people who have traveled, lived in other countries, learned other languages, and , in many cases, have married foreign-born spouses. So they tend to spread out along the idealogical spectrum. Likewise, teachers in the physical sciences and economics also tend to be more ideologically varied. It is in the humanities that you find an overwhelming presence of not just liberals, but far-out lefties who don't much care for their country. Unfortunately, these characters make the most noise, and thus, bring a lot of bad publicity to their schools. Add that to adminstrators who either sympathize with radical professors or are afraid to confront them, and you have a pretty sorry state of affairs on our campuses.

So where do I start? How about Ward Churchhill, of the University of Colorado? He's the guy who called the victims of 9-11 "little Eichmann's". How about the character who teaches at the University of Wisconsin who swears that the Bush Administration conducted 9-11? What about Duke, where the university, urged on by a letter signed by 88 professors, expelled the three Lacrosse players (who were later exonerated.) Then there is San Francisco State, where military recruiters were driven off campus by a mob of students, just part of a long tradition of student unrest at that "institution". Let's don't forget Harvard, the "most prestigious university in America", where the president, Larry Summers, was driven to resignation by his own faculty after he had the temerity to question whether women were as adapt at science as men. (Oh the outrage!) At my own school, UCI, each quarter is marred by anti-Israel events sponsored by the Muslim Student Union, a group that has a regular team of radical Muslim imam speakers who spout hatred not only for Israel, but America and Jews in general. Numerous other campuses, such as UCLA, also have activists Muslim Student Unions that warrant the attention of the FBI. Meanwhile, other universities, Like the University of Michigan at Dearborn, are busy installing foot baths for Muslim students.

In addition, while radical left speakers appear and speak freely on campuses across the nation, conservative speakers are met with protests, disruption and sometimes violence. Examples? How about former Justice Department official, John Woo, when he spoke at UC Irvine a couple of years ago? Ditto for pro-Israel Middle East expert, Daniel Pipes at UCI a few months back. How about Ann Coulter, who had pies thrown at her at one university in Arizona? When President Bush was invited to speak recently at St Vincent's College in Latrobe, students and professors alike cried like spoiled children. In the free marketplace of ideas, pay attention to those who want to silence the other side. That will tell you much about who is right and who is wrong.

I could go on for the next 100 pages with anecdotal examples of far-left, anti-American activity going on at American universities, but you read these stories every day just like me. The question is why? How did you get to this point? I guess one reason is that many of these professors were university students during my generation-the good old 60s. Many of them never left that sad decade. Another reason could be that moderates and conservatives tend to get their bachelor's degrees and go out into the world to make a living and get some real life experience. They tend to become even more conservative during life. Meanwhile, what happens to the student who goes from a BS degree to a masters degree to a PHD and then enters teaching? By the time they have gotton their doctorate, they have been educated out of the last shred of common sense they were born with. They are still stuck in that cocoon of liberal university propaganda. They then take all that "learning" into their classroom and regurgitate the same stuff that they learned. However, where is their life experience, other than maybe getting married and having kids?

In my own case, after getting my BS in 1970 (interrupted by a 3 year stint in the Army), I went into federal law enforcement, first with Customs, then DEA. That job took me all over the world, including assignments in Thailand and Italy for a total of 8 years. In my final assignmnet at the Office of Training at Quantico, Virginia, I took advantage of a program run by the University of Virginia, where I was able to get a master's degree in Education, paid for by the government. This enabled me to qualify as an ESL teacher at the college level, further enabling me to retire at 50. I mention this only because I think that it allowed me to bring life experience to the classroom.

That does not mean however, that I was about to walk into a classroom and indoctrinate my students with my conservative philosophy. I think it is wrong. My job is to help young students improve their English, not to teach them what they should think about the world. Unfortunately, most leftist professors feel it is their mission to turn out a new generation of leftists. Not content to preach their doctrine in the classroom, many of them engage in protests against this or that outside the classroom, oblivious to any principle of free speech. Even more outrageously, many professors give poor grades to any student who strays from the professor's point of view. Sadly, many young students, concerned about graduating, have succumbed, remaining silent in the classroom and turning in papers in agreement with the professor's philosophy.

In contrast, my master's program was more of an example of adult education. The coordinator, from the University of Virginia, was able to relate to us since we were made up of DEA, FBI and Marines. He knew he was dealing with adults who had life experience and were not liable to be liberal. Where the fun happened is when he brought up young teaching assistants from Charlottesville to give lectures. On one occasion, a young lady in her 20s made the off-hand comment in class that she didn't think it was unpatriotic to burn the American flag! We let her know in no uncertain terms how we felt about that remark. The lady was nearly in a state of shock when she left-and never returned.

So what to do about this situation? Do we conservatives go to court or the Congress to demand a "fairness doctrine" for the universities? Tempting, but I say no. What I think is necessary here is the light of day. We need to make sure the public is aware of what is happening in our universities (and secondary schools as well). We also need to send emails or letters to the heads of these institutions when these outrages occur. They need to know the public is watching. If your alma mater is guilty of far-left bias, refuse to send contributions when solicited-and let them know why. If you are going to foot the bill for your kid's tuition, make sure that he or she doesn't go to one of the offending schools. (Unfortunately, that takes care of most state-run universities-you might have to look at a small private or faith-based school). Eventually, some of these schools will start paying attention to the bottom line.

You also need to counsel your children that it is up to them to decide what they think about the world, that they will be subjected to this indoctrination, and that they should never accept at face value what a professor says in the classroom. There is a bumper sticker that liberals are fond of that reads: "Question Authority". Why not question professors as well?

gary fouse

fousesquawk


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Title Commenter Date Thread
Ex-admirer who woke up first hand [140 words]kjanApr 20, 2016 12:50229076
3what is wrong with our universities? [1378 words]gary fouseJul 15, 2007 22:15103738
Petro-dollars at work. [28 words]AndyMay 23, 2010 00:59103738
IRAN: a solution other than war or appeasement [61 words]John OmidiJul 11, 2007 10:05103446
response to "Israeli Jets vs Iranian Nukes" [429 words]Ron ThompsonJun 13, 2007 09:3797972
2Overboard? [136 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Abraham CorriganJun 6, 2007 12:0296256
2What are you trying to accomplish? [958 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
~JehanZeb~Jun 3, 2007 15:1995898
3Isn't Greta Berlin A Bit Old For College? [107 words]Steve HancockMay 30, 2007 05:4995313
1UCLA insults Daniel Pipes [154 words]Al OrtizMay 30, 2007 00:1695197
1Do the Words, "Goose" and "Gander" Come to Mind? [130 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Julian TepperMay 29, 2007 09:1695109
Revealing statement [157 words]Stuart FaginMay 29, 2007 09:0095108
The cost of letting it slide [40 words]David W. LincolnMay 28, 2007 15:5895040
"handled appropriately" huh? [79 words]Mark PrestonMay 23, 2007 11:2794075
Mark Preston and the Constitution [27 words]Emily ScopesAug 16, 2007 16:3594075
The Constitution is the Constitution [22 words]Mark PrestonAug 16, 2007 21:2694075
Foolish pretention [43 words]Emily ScopesAug 17, 2007 23:2594075
2For some real "Hate Speech," please turn to the Koran [55 words]Acharya SMay 17, 2007 03:0293307
2The anti-Israel Hate Fest at The University of California Irvine [258 words]Richard B Kates, MDMay 9, 2007 23:1892318
1CNI Foundation ad in Sunday NYT, 4/22/07 [168 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Muriel EfronApr 23, 2007 18:0790405
1To Muriel Efron. [754 words]Ynnatchkah Dievetchkah Kharoshaya.May 10, 2007 22:2690405
gratitude [56 words]bea ferreiraApr 21, 2007 13:0790071
2"LIAR" [37 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Greta BerlinApr 19, 2007 23:1989881
1Oh, please [28 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Greta BerlinApr 21, 2007 22:0989881
1To Greta Berlin - the artist. [372 words]Ynna(Tchkah)May 9, 2007 03:0089881
2Motto Perpetuum- Islamo Fascists Heinous Lies- Adopted by Greta Berlin. [387 words]Ynna (tchkah)May 9, 2007 04:0589881
15Greta Berlin acted like a child at UCLA [195 words]Allyson Rowen TaylorMay 17, 2007 01:0689881
To Allyson about Greta and Her "Teen" Buddies [539 words]Ynna (tchkah)May 18, 2007 18:1889881
Dear YNNA: [209 words]Anne BalfourMay 21, 2007 01:3189881
point of order... [181 words]donvanMay 21, 2007 16:0389881
1Dear ANN BALFOUR - Response [983 words]Ynna(TCHKAH)May 22, 2007 19:4589881
Donvan- Loved what you wrote. [2 words]Ynna (Tchkah)May 23, 2007 03:1489881
Puhleese Greta!... [47 words]FrummerMay 27, 2007 18:5889881
1Greta needs a dose of the truth... [302 words]David BlainMay 27, 2007 19:1889881
quite right Frummer [75 words]James ForsythJun 9, 2007 01:0089881
What makes an occupation legal anyways? [219 words]ShintoJul 14, 2007 00:0189881
2Putting the record straight [75 words]Greta Berlin ArtistNov 9, 2007 04:2889881
18A Role Model for Peace? [254 words]Ava E. BerlinNov 9, 2007 20:3989881
3Re: Greta Berlin and her anger [122 words]Allyson Rowen TaylorNov 23, 2007 20:0989881
I have true compassion for Ava Berlin, Greta is a very unpleasant person [144 words]Ryan MervinAug 12, 2012 03:0689881
greta jewish? no. immature? extremely [74 words]alanMay 3, 2018 09:0889881
accompaniment [25 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
DarrenApr 18, 2007 10:1489649
Thanks for the link to my site Dr. Pipes [2 words]Student of ObjectivismApr 17, 2007 01:3789441
fanatical hard-lined leftists [45 words]charles steeleApr 15, 2007 11:5089316
Thanks for participating [181 words]Roger ParianApr 14, 2007 22:3589283
Thank you Daniel [36 words]JohnApr 14, 2007 18:4989264
Islamo-fascism exposed [102 words]dhimmi no moreApr 14, 2007 18:1589262
Part 2 of my coverage of your discussion (pictures) [47 words]Todd (Hecubus)Apr 14, 2007 14:1989236
Good new. [46 words]jamalApr 14, 2007 14:1989235
I led the shout of "out" [270 words]Mark PrestonApr 14, 2007 12:0889222
fair comment [79 words]charles steeleApr 15, 2007 11:3889222
Response for request [20 words]Mark PrestonApr 15, 2007 22:1289222

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