Friday, April 7, 2006, 1:00 p.m.
First National Academic Freedom Conference
Scott Jaschik; Inside Higher Ed; Editor (Chair)
David Horowitz; Center for the Study of Popular Culture; President
Candace de Russy; SUNY Board of Trustees; Member
Terry Hartle; American Council on Education; SVP, Government Affairs
Bill Scheuerman; United University Professions; President
Tom Lucero; University of Colorado Board of Regents; Member
SCOTT JASCHIK: Good afternoon, everybody. While you’re finishing your lunch, we want to start the program because we have an excellent panel here and want to them time to talk and also time–spend a lot of the time engaged in discussion with the audience.
My name is Scott Jaschik, and I’m the Editor of Inside Higher Ed. And however you answer the question we are going to consider here today, about whether national–whether legislation is needed on this issue of politics in the classroom, I can tell you from a journalist’s perspective, it has been a very interesting issue to cover.
But we’re going to hear from a panel of people who come at this from different angles, and I’m going to briefly tell you a little bit about each of them right now. There are detailed biographies in your program materials.
Starting–and this is the order we are going to go in–we will hear from David Horowitz, who is President of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. He is a prolific author, most recently of The Professors – The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, and he is known as the father of the Academic Bill of Rights.
Then we’ll hear from Terry Hartle, who is Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the American Council on Education. The American Council on Education represents just about all sectors of higher education, public and private, large and small, and so he can provide a broad perspective on the views of colleges.
Then we will hear from two New Yorkers, first from Candace de Russy, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York System and is also on the Board of Ave Maria University and is on the Trustee Council of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
Then we’ll hear from Bill Scheuerman, who is President of United University Professions, which represents faculty members and other professionals in the State University of New York System. He is also a professor of political science at SUNY’s Oswego campus, and is Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers.
And then we will hear from Thomas Lucero, who is a businessman and who is also an elected member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
Each of these people will speak for five to seven minutes, and I have warned them in advance that I’m going to be ruthless about cutting them off. And then we will have Q&A with the audience. So why don’t you hold your questions for now. I’d like to get through the panel first.
And so we’ll start with David Horowitz.
DAVID HOROWITZ: I’m going to try to be about two minutes because I’ve spoken a lot today. And it’s just–I wouldn’t even do this except that the Academic Bill of Rights and its legislative campaign have been so misrepresented and willfully misrepresented since I have testimony before several legislative committees that makes very clear what our agenda is.
I advised the Academic Bill of Rights for the SUNY system in New York. I did it for the Chairman of the Board of Regents, who told me he would put it through and endorsed it. He was paralyzed by his fear of the opposition of a radical minority on his faculty, the same kind of radical minority that toppled Larry Summers, a much more powerful university president than he was a chairman of regents. And that’s why I went to legislators, and that was mainly to get the attention of administrators and to put a weight into the balance so that an administrator could say, “The legislator is threatening legislation. Therefore, we need to restore the guidelines that have been established for nearly 100 years by the AAUP.” That’s the whole rationale for the campaign.
I have never sponsored – to this point, I have never – and I have never sponsored and don’t have any plans to sponsor legislative control of universities. All the legislation is resolutions and Sense of the Congress, and it has actually worked admirably. It has gotten the attention of everybody.
Terry Hartle, who is the Vice President of the American Council of Education, represents an organization that includes 1,800 or 2,000 higher education institutions, including all universities known to man, who–his organization was inspired by this to create a position that universities felt they could live with, which I have endorsed and which we have used as a compromised solution wherever universities have approached us, most particularly in the state of Ohio, where the inter-university council asked us if we would withdraw our legislation, if they would embrace the American Council’s resolution, and we said we would.
The one thing that I have reserved because I’ve found, thanks to Gib Armstrong, who sponsored this in Pennsylvania, is legislative hearings to see what the situation is, and basically, to bring information both about what’s happening on campuses, what’s actually happening in practice, and then what the university policies are, and then to ask university administrators hwy they aren’t enforcing them and what they could do, for example, to make students aware of their rights. Students have no idea what their rights are under the existing academic freedom policies.
I want to say one thing about the panel.
William Scheuerman is the Vice President of the AFT, has been publicly a very harsh critic of mine, but we met at Temple University and got along very well, and I’m happy to have him here.
And Scott Jaschik, who was kind enough to moderate this and runs an excellent Web magazine called InsideHigherEd.com on higher education issues has also published a lot of criticism of me. But, again, the fact that we get into a room and that we can discuss these issues is the only way, it seems to me, forward that’s not going to be highly destructive. And so I hope this panel is a portent of a future in which there is more discussion among people who reasonably disagree on these matters. Thank you.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Thank you. Terry?
TERRY HARTLE: Thank you very much. Let me begin by saying David’s–picking up on David’s comments that ACU is inspired as a result of his efforts to draft a proposal on academic rights and responsibility, I wouldn’t use the word inspired. We did it, but I wouldn’t use the word inspired.
The issue on the table, the politicalization of the university, particularly an assertion that it’s tilting to the left, is hardly new in our society. A common joke in Republican circles during the Depression was in a form of a question, “How do you get to Washington, D.C.?” Well, the answer, “It’s easy. You go to Harvard and turn left.”
In the 1950s, there was a great deal of concern about liberal tilting and communist tilting at American colleges and universities. At one point, Senator Joe McCarthy said that 28% of all top collaborators with the deceitful communist front movement have been college and university professors.
In the ’60s, colleges and universities were the subject of controversy from a huge variety of issues. Looking back on it, today’s observer’s likely to be struck by the level of anger, the incendiary rhetoric, and the broad based nature of the charges. What’s interesting is that in the ’60s, colleges and universities were opposed by both the left and the right. Indeed, at one point, opinion polls said that campus unrest was the nation’s second-most pressing problems, secondly only to the war in Vietnam.
But it was this idea that both the left and the right were very unhappy with colleges and universities. That’s so interesting today. As we were thinking about this talk, we found several articles that emphasized the extent to which both the right wing and the left wing wanted to attack colleges and universities.
In the 1980s, we heard this charge again. Joe Queenan, in his book, Imperial Caddy, The Life and Times of Dan Quayle, tackled this subject directly but in a somewhat humorous vein. He wrote, “The way society works is this. Leftist intellectuals with harebrained Marxist ideas get to control Stanford, MIT, Yale and the American Studies Department at the University of Vermont. In return, the right gets IBM, Honeywell, Disney World, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Leftist academics get to try out their stupid ideas on impressionable youth between 17 and 21, who don’t have any money or power. The right gets to try out its ideas on North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, parts of Africa, most of which take MasterCard. The left gets Harvard, [Obil], and Twila Tharp’s dance company in Madison, Wisconsin. The right gets NASDAQ, Boeing, General Motors, Apple, McDonnell Douglas, Washington, D.C., Citicorp, Texas, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Japan, and outer space. This seems like a fair arrangement.
The question before us today, however, is a very specific one – is legislation needed? And I’ll confine my thoughts on this to talking about it from the perspective of federal legislation, though most of my points would also apply to state legislation as well.
First, I don’t think legislation is necessary or desirable for five reasons.
One, there is little evidence of a widespread national problem. There are assertions of a problem, and there are anecdotes, some of which may not be true. But there is very little data that one can point to. This is not to say that there are not professors or problems that need to be addressed. Rather, it is to say that there is no evidence to suggest a large widespread systematic problem.
Second, almost all colleges and universities have grievance policies to handle inappropriate academic behavior. Ironically, schools that have those procedures will tell you that they are rarely used. Where there is a problem, they should be used.
Third, government efforts to regulate speech on a general issue involving so many people in so many different ways will not succeed. Attempt to regulate speech may work if you’re dealing with a very specific issue and a very clearly defined problem. For example, you don’t joke about weapons when you go through security at the airport.
By contrast, efforts to impose speech codes at colleges and universities in the 1990s almost never worked because they were overly broad and poorly defined. Operationalizing such codes turned out to be nearly impossible, even when the unit under consideration, college or university campus, was fairly specific and defined.
Fourth, using government as an enforcement vehicle is always colored by the will of the majority at the time. The majority will change, and so will the discussion. We use government to establish boundaries of discussion on campus. Those boundaries will not be fixed and immutable.
Having said all of this, I must note that the House of Representatives recently passed HR-609 to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The House Republicans wanted to include language in the bill to deal with this issue, and they did so. The higher education community, myself included, worked with the House Republicans and David Horowitz to find language that would address the concerns that had been raised while not generating unexpected side effects. What is in the legislation is put forward as a set of principles that address the idea of what a university should be. It is a good statement, and we can live with it.
One reason we could do this was because there was widespread agreement about the basic principles of what universities ought to be. Doesn’t mean there will always be agreement on the details. In fact, in the long history of higher education, it’s pretty clear that there will always be a vigorous debate about how to make those basic principles work in practice. That’s not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. And I suspect that the language in the House bill, which will eventually be included into a final bill, is likely to stimulate a lot of discussion on college and university campuses.
Please note that this is a Sense of the House resolution. Eventually, it will become a Sense of the Congress resolution. Congress is saying, “We think.” This is very different than Congress passing a law that says, “You must.” Sense of Congress resolutions are very useful for calling attention to an issue and establishing a viewpoint, and that is what this does.
Individual institutions will look at the language and decide how to address it on their campuses. In some cases, it will probably spark a campus-wide debate on the issue. But what Congress is doing is not self-executing. I think that what we’ll see is a lot of discussions about this on campuses, and I think that that is a good and healthy thing.
Thanks very much.
Candace De Russy: Good afternoon, colleagues and friends. As you here know well, higher education historically safeguarded the Socratic method of openly questioning all truths. But anyone who claims that this is still the case is either ignorant or dishonest. [Pache], Mr. Hartle, and back to the evidence question later.
Honest observers know that our campuses no longer protect intellectual pluralism and academic freedom for all. And indeed, they are a breeding ground for leftist curricular bias, repression, and a dangerous extremism. In short, today’s campuses have become modern incarnations of the Athenian jury, which executed Socrates for thought crimes. Yet, for the most part, our educational leaders, faculties and their representative organizations, administrators, governing boards, and political officials refuse adamantly to face up to this scandal.
Pliant trustees in lockstep with the timid and politically motivated governors who have appointed them continue to pander to interest groups, groups which manipulate the dysfunctional shared governance system in their own selfish – not the public’s – behalf. With a straight face, these clacks declare in unison that on campuses there is no abuse of students’ and professors’ rights, that policies exist, as you just heard, and are invoked to protect against such abuse, that hiring promotion procedures have not been corrupted, and that, therefore, there is no need to restore the Academy’s own noble first principles via the Academic Bill of Rights, the ACE, supported by [ACTA] statements – I’ll speak about that – or some version thereof.
In addition, without irony or shame, the status quo actively stifles open and even-handed debate about intellectual diversity, all the while proclaiming their stalwart commitment to academic freedom. This hypocritical ritual recently played out at the State University of New York. After a long period of stonewalling, a trustee committee finally took up the issue of intellectual diversity mounting an elaborate and mostly one-sided theories of presentations by SUNY insiders, which one observer likened to Kabuki theater.
And thereafter, having stacked the deck and circled the wagons, the committee washed its hands of any such problem at SUNY and of the need to endorse a statement on academic freedom. Moreover, in failing to fulfill their responsibility to lead campuses in healing themselves, these trustees have unfortunately opened the way for growing numbers of our concerned lawmakers to impose legislative solutions, a course of action which should be avoided.
It is the silence of higher education leaders in other words in face of campus injustice that is goading legislators into taking action. And what of this spectacle? What of this spectacle of higher education elites eschewing both rational dialogue in the logical defense of their opinions? This in my view is eerie stuff. It calls to mind philosopher Ortega y Gasset’s description of the “reason of unreason,” which characterized the rising fascist mindset in the 1930s. And I quote, “There appears a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions. This is the new thing, the right not to be reasonable, the detestation of objective standards.”
This means a renunciation of the common life based on culture which is subject to standards, and a return to the common life of barbarism. For these reasons, there is no alternative to summoning our courage, our strength, and opposing the rise of this mentality in the Academy. The ideas on our campuses – be they good, be they bad – they take hold in the minds of countless millions within this country and planet-wide. As in the time of Socrates, they profoundly, perhaps definitively alter civic institutions and they bear heavily on the survival of civilization itself.
Be bold, my friends, therefore, and join the fray. And if I can take two minutes, because I have time, The American Council of Trustees and Alumni was not able to participate–the leadership was not able to participate. I have been affiliated for some time with it. And I’d like to note, after Mr. Hartle’s presentation about the ACE statement that ACTA is backing the ACE statement and it is asking for a certain specific–asking–specifying certain requirements that it would like to have fulfilled. Let me just run through these as fast as possible.
ACTA is recommending adoption by the boards of trustees of the statement by ACE. It is advocating completion of a self-study to assess the current state of intellectual diversity on campuses; incorporation of intellectual diversity into institutional statements, grievance procedures, program development, and activities on diversity; encouragement of balanced panels and speaker series; establishment of clear campus policies ensuring that hecklers of threats of violence do not prevent speakers from speaking; inclusion of intellectual diversity concerns in university guidelines on teaching; inclusion of intellectual diversity issues in student course evaluations; development of language in hiring, tenure, and promotion guidelines to protect individuals against political viewpoint discrimination; establishment of clear campus policies to guarantee student press freedom; establishment of clear campus policies to prohibit political bias in the distribution of student-funded fees; and finally, elimination of any speech codes that restrict or may have a chilling effect on free speech rights and creation of a university ombudsman on intellectual diversity.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: Let me start by thanking the organizers for inviting me, and Sara, in particular, because I had to make so many changes to get here and you were patient. So thanks. And David. David gave me a special gift. I’ve got to mention this. A special gift is something I wouldn’t buy. And David sent me a copy of his book, saved me some trips to the library, and I thought that was gracious. And I say this as a joke, but I’m serious. I really appreciate that. Thanks, Dave. Because I did enjoy the conversations we had. Even though we disagree we have to keep our civility and focus on the larger questions. And I’m here to do that today. And I want to talk about the truth that we’re discussing today.
And I’ll begin. First of all, do we need legislation to protect academic freedom? I guess it’s unanimous so far. Everybody is saying no. I certainly say we don’t. And I want to tell you why. And I’m an academic and I want to begin my search for the truth by raising larger questions. And a larger question I want to look at is what is the Academic Bill of Rights all about? And here are questions that come in my mind. I looked at David’s book. I read a lot of stuff in the Academic Bill of Rights. And by the way, I don’t believe in proselytizing in the classroom. I mean, I don’t think anybody, hopefully, anybody in this room does.
But when you take a look at what the goal and whether it’s the book or in all of the writings you’ve seen, it’s to get more conservative faculty members it seems to me in the classroom. There’s a left-wing bias Get rid of the lefties and bring in more conservatives. The question is how do you do this? And what I see is the mechanism to do this, the tool to do this is the Academic Bill of Rights. Because if we have the Academic Bill of Rights, you can say now look what we can do. We have a problem. We can move the problem and begin to move left-wing faculty members out and bring right-wing faculty members in.
And if I look at the Academic Bill of Rights much in the way you look at a research project when you start with the conclusion and then you look for the facts to fit in because you know where you want to go. You’ve chosen your destination. Now you’ve got to look at the road. And now we take a look at the facts. And this is where we run into problems. And this is where at times I look at the Academic Bill of Rights – and believe me, I’m trying to keep an open mind on this – as a house of cards.
As we look at the facts what we find is a lot of allegations, a lot of innuendos, a lot of mischaracterizations. And I could spend five or ten minutes and cite them from publications. I was at hearings in Pennsylvania. People would make allegations. They’d say back them. And often times it was a disagreement rather than an abuse. If there are abuses out there, let’s bring them forward and act on them. But let’s not make policy on the base of unsubstantiated allegations. Just a study in Florida that basically–a study in Florida by Florida government said there is no bias inside higher education.
Scott’s publication just last week, University of Nevada Study, said not only is there no bias, but they actually found that when liberal students took conservative classes their grades were lower than conservatives. Does that mean there’s a bias against liberals? I wouldn’t go that far. Maybe they’re just not interested in the work. I mean, the issues are far more complicated and complex that we’re–than we’re looking at.
Despite the lack of data though, hearing after hearing, the Academic Bill of Rights movement moves on. Well, what’s the purpose? Well, maybe–this convinces–what convinced me that the purpose is to hire more right-wing faculty and move out the left-wing faculty and the Academic Bill of Rights becomes a tool to do that. And once you disregard the facts – and David has been quoted several times as saying–I’m going to paraphrase it. And if I get it wrong, it’s a paraphrase. Well, maybe that particular fact was wrong, but we know it happens anyway. Well, if you know it happens anyway, let’s see it and let’s test it. And let’s see how serious it is and let’s hear both sides. Let’s bring it to the standard of due process and then act. And if it’s a real problem we know what to do. And we know we can use the processes that are already in place.
And another speaker mentioned the processes. But if your goal is to shift the balance from left-wing faculty to right-wing faculty, you’re going to say the process–you’re going to discredit the processes that are in place. And that’s basically what’s done. Well, people don’t use them for whatever reasons. And I can understand why students would be reluctant to use them. But if the problem is very severe, that’s what you have and they generally do work.
So once you say, I’m not going to use the process, and once you say, I’m not going to look at the facts, but they’re still a problem, your next step is some kind of government intervention, whether it’s a resolution or worse yet, a legislative solution. I don’t think anybody in this room would want a legislative solution. First of all, it violates the principles of limited government by which this country–upon which this country is based.
Can you imagine some government agency having–stepping in the classroom and having a lot to say about grading, curricula, what happens in any particular class? And there’s the whole question of how would you implement it? Would you create another Soviet-like bureaucracy? And how would you know when the law was violated? I mean, the whole thing gets so mushy and crazy, it just wouldn’t work.
So I look at this whole process, where it’s leading. If we ever go in a direction of a legislative solution, I look at that as a process of a kind of Soviet-type solution to a problem that isn’t backed by the data. And that leads me to say the problem isn’t–it probably doesn’t even exist. I’d like to see more–tougher data that can be defended by the standards of due process. If that’s there, let’s take a look at it. I haven’t seen it yet.
TOM LUCERO: Thank you all very much for the opportunity to be here with you today. I am actually going to talk on a number of very provocative issues. And just as a disclaimer, I’m going to skim the surface on them, not get into a lot of detail. And hopefully, save that for question and answer.
But at this point, I want to take a minute to thank David for organizing and hosting today’s event. More importantly, I want to thank David for his dedication and hard work to the issue of education. Because now more than ever, thanks to his hard work and dedication, the American public is beginning to take notice of what’s occurring in the Academy. Soon enough, we’re going to hit critical mass with that awareness with the American public. And David, as much as any person in this country, is going to be responsible when that day comes.
The question before us today is, is legislation necessary. Having coincidentally enough spent the last four days earlier in the week at the National Conference for Governing Boards for Higher Education, I’d like to share with you my assessment of the state of governing boards for American universities.
Let me first start with a positive reflection. There was an overwhelming sense and belief that governing boards are the voice for American public universities. And more importantly, they believe that they are the guardians for American higher education. That part seems pretty straightforward, but from there it quickly becomes murky. And if there is a theme that runs through that conference and through governing boards across this country, that theme would be confusion.
And that confusion, in my mind, is the result of two major factors that have led to the emasculation of governing boards for universities around this country. Governing boards are struggling with this basic concept of how to govern. And number two, even if they figure out that first part of how they’re going to govern, they can’t find consensus on what their priorities and responsibilities should be.
If we look at that first piece, what’s this notion of higher ed governance, we begin to–if you look at a governing board–let me take a step back for a second and interject here. Because on governing boards the majority of them are appointed by governors around the country, these are all very successful people. Very intelligent, many of whom serve on corporate boards, many of whom have done tremendous things in their life. But when they come to a governing board for higher education, they’re completely at a loss for how to govern.
And therefore, you have boards with no model for governance and no ability to implement public policy on behalf of students and citizens around this country. And just as importantly, they have no way to measure the successes and failures of their universities. Now when we look at that second piece, we ask ourselves, even if we figure out the former, do boards have the skills and the information necessary in order to ask the right questions in setting the priorities for their universities? What a lack of organized and clearly defined public governance has led to is a system whereby all critical decisions have been delegated, and some of us might even suggest usurped by the presidents and the administrations of universities.
So where are the opportunities and the hope for the future of higher education? Governing boards needs to write blueprint for governance as well as for priority setting. Right now at the University of Colorado, we are making tremendous progress on both fronts. We’re clearly articulating how the legislative relationship between the board and the president is going to work. The board will be responsible for setting major public policy for the university and the president will be held accountable for those successes and/or failures.
In addition, the board is simultaneously defining what those priorities are going to be. As a conservative, I am hopeful we can be successful in defining what this blueprint and this governance for higher education should be. Because I believe that government should be handled at the local level. However, in order for this model to be successful, governing boards have got to begin to assert themselves and be willing to reclaim what is their rightful authority. But if we’re not able to be successful, then frankly, I believe the only solution at that point is to turn to state legislators for assistance.
In addition to the Academic Bill of Rights, I have the perspective of sitting on a governing board. I would add two pieces into public policy legislation. Mary? Sam? If I were sitting in the legislature, one, I would cut funding, and number two, I would define standards for civic literacy. By cutting budgets, what you would ultimately do is force universities to prioritize what defines their excellence. Universities would have to stop trying to be all things to all people.
The current model is excel at a few things, have those departments of excellence subsidize the poor performers. Ultimately, all you succeed in creating is mediocrity. Simultaneously, you must demand that universities begin to teach civic literacy. It is time for universities to understand that they are responsible for educating the next generation of leaders in this country and that most Americans want their leaders to have a foundation in Western history, philosophy, and the American founding.
Americans want their leaders to embody a value system that is reflective of their values, a set of values rooted in what it means to be uniquely American.
Thank you all.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Before we go to questions from the audience, I wanted to give each of the panels, and I thought we could again go in order, just a minute, literally one minute of anything that was said that you wanted to respond to.
DAVID HOROWITZ: If I may just take the privilege since I only spoke for two minutes and since the bill has been attacked here. There are two responses to this bill. One is to misrepresent it and the other is to say there’s no problem. I–Bill came in late, so maybe he didn’t see the sign that says Take Politics Out of the Classroom. It doesn’t say take leftist politics out. And it doesn’t say put conservative politics in. I made the first tenet of the Academic Bill of Rights professors can’t be hired or fired on the basis of their political views, yet I am consistently represented in all the education media and by all the unions and all the opponents as somebody who’s plotting – this is a right-wing plot – to fire leftists and hire conservatives. That is a myth.
On the evidence issue. The Florida study is a spurious study. Unless students know their rights, which they don’t–no student knows what is appropriate in a classroom because they are not told. They can’t complain about being abused. They’re not going to come forward with that. They only come forward when we have gone in and told them, and put in their hands the Academic Freedom Provisions of the AUP and advise them of it, ignores and opposes these days.
No wait. Wait a minute. I want to–
SCOTT JASCHIK: –I want to make sure we get everybody.
DAVID HOROWITZ: We’ll get everybody.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Thirty seconds here.
DAVID HOROWITZ: The Academic Freedom Hearings the University of Pittsburgh said they conducted, they went into their computers and over–it took them three months. And I have to be careful. I don’t know it was exactly three months, because if I misspell a word it appears on the union-sponsored website of David Horowitz’s looseness with the facts. And they came up with 13 cases over five years and they said this is nothing. Now that’s 13 cases where students do not know what their rights are, but they did go in and complain about Academic Freedom abuses.
Now there are three big state universities, so that would be 39 in five years for the state. Then there are 15 or 17 in the state system. So say there’s about 60 complaints over five years. Seems like nothing, doesn’t it? That’s one state. If you–I forget the book–what the title of the book is, but I’ve written about it, so it’s easy to find. There is a book that was written on the McCarthy–and the Cold War period. Actually, more than the McCarthy period. From 1947 to 1954 in the AUP files, the total number of cases of Academic Freedom abuses in the McCarthy era and beyond is 59 nationally. This is 59 in Pennsylvania. That’s 59 over 50 states over 7 years. Yet, the major horror in American life is the McCarthy era. So we have a much bigger problem in our universities–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Okay–.
DAVID HOROWITZ: –Than they had in the McCarthy era.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Thank you. Terry, anything? Candace?
CANDACE DE RUSSY: Three points. First of all, Terry, you have stated that you have espoused this statement, the presidents–university presidents, global colloquium, they too espoused an admirable statement. And ACTA, the organization I referred to earlier, backed all this. What I want to know from you at some point is what are you going to do to implement this? How are you going to get results? Your president, David Ward, has said there is a need for campuses to take real action, a need for grievance procedures to be in place, and so forth. We need action on this. Point one.
Mr. Hartle and also Bill, here, again we get this refrain no evidence of abuse and so forth. ACTA has sponsored a survey of students which showed that they indeed are very deeply concerned. A shocking 49% of the students at the country’s top 50 colleges and universities say their professors frequently injected political comments into their courses even if they had nothing to do with the subject, and other things. See for that GoACTA.org and you will get the full range of data on this.
And finally, to Tom over here, he says that trustees are struggling with confusion about how to govern. Well, others have described what the governance system right now is a duopoly. A dysfunctional duopoly of management of shared governments that’s not working anymore. Yes, trustees have to stand up and be counted, but governors first of all have to have vision. The governors in many ways animate and motivate the trustees. We need governors, pressure on governors, and also administrators, whose salaries are going up year-by-year with the status quo as it is. They don’t want public problems. And the faculty likes the status quo. As one of them said, we like it just the way it is. So they support the status quo.
We’re going to have to have governors with courage who then motivate the boards.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Well, I thought for sure Candace was going to say that not all trustees are timid. But I guess [inaudible].
BILL SCHEUERMAN: I know one trustee who is not in the least bit timid.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: Governors.
BILL SCHEUERMAN:: And that’s interesting you said governors because we’re here today to talk about how to keep politics out of the classroom and the speech we’re getting is governors have to take a more proactive role in promoting our agenda. That’s not what we should be doing That’s what I heard you say. And that to me is the underlying theme of everything that’s going on when we take a look at the mushy facts.
And there’s a difference between–you know, I was a student, too. I often didn’t disagree with the–didn’t agree with the professor. I was offended. But that doesn’t mean the professor has crossed a line somewhere. We want facts that will take the test of due process because there are careers at stake and there are institutional reputations at stake. If you don’t have that, why proceed? Well, if you proceed without the data it makes me think the motive has something to do other than the interest of students. Maybe it’s the interest of bringing in right-wing faculty.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Tom?
TOM LUCERO: So, of course, the response to Bill becomes–and this is a wonderful argument he places himself in because he says we need the facts. But if you go out and suggest that we’re going to hold hearings, we’re going to bring professors forward, we’re going to go analyze syllabi, he’s already shaking his head over here. How do you go about getting these facts without being called the next Joe McCarthy? And that, then, becomes the issue. Because nobody in this room, David, including myself, is suggesting that we want to go into the classroom and begin to meddle in what teachers are teaching in the classroom by looking at their syllabi and by bringing the government into the classroom.
The reality of it is that at some point it’s anecdotal. At some point, the pattern begins to repeat itself and it’s demonstrated over and over and over again. And David has been wonderful at demonstrating that pattern repeatedly at universities around the country. I’ve heard the stories at the University of Colorado. All we’re looking for is this intellectual balance on campuses.
And I would ask Bill this question. If there were a study to come out – a scientific study – that said civil literacy at major universities around this country was woeful and pathetic, would you support a curriculum that would help address that issue?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Bill? Since you were just asked a direct question.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: Yes, providing the faculty participated in the process of shared governance. We don’t want it imposed by people who think they know a lot about what we do, but haven’t been inside a campus classroom for 10, 15, or 20 years. We’re the professionals. We put all those years in school. We work with students. Not all of us are perfect. In fact, none of us is perfect. And there’s some that probably screw up. We’re all human. But you don’t want outsiders imposing academic standards and replacing your professional training.
SCOTT JASCHIK: If I could now use my prerogative as moderator to pose a question before we open this. I wanted to follow up on something–.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: –Can I just say the answer is yes.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: It really depends who does it, is the short version.
SCOTT JASCHIK: I wanted to follow-up on something David said because–something he said before about how students don’t know how to complain. And I was thinking there’s a website that professors hate called RateMyProfessors.com. And I spent some time on it this morning. And if you look at it and the hundreds and hundreds–thousands of students use it. Do students here use it? Okay. And you can see what they complain about. They complain all the time about classes that are too large. They don’t like it if the professors are too tough. They complain that there are woefully few professors who earn the chili pepper for being hotties. You don’t see a lot of complaints about these issues.
And so, isn’t that evidence that in fact students do know how to complain, do know how to share information, but maybe this isn’t their top issue?
DAVID HOROWITZ: Well, look, we have produced hundreds of complaints from RateMyProfessors. When we testified in Pennsylvania we produced hundreds of complaints. These are just lists of anecdoctals. This is the way the game is played. Now [Steve Baltz] testified before Gib Armstrong’s committee and I testified. And this is hours of testimony. Entire programs are ideological and violate the stated Academic Freedom policies at Penn State, at the University of Pittsburgh at Temple University.
At the end of an hour and a half of my testimony and questioning, a Democrat on the committee–actually, the co-chair of the committee, who was a featured speaker at two union-sponsored rallies against the committee – this is what we were dealing with – denouncing it as a McCarthy committee. And this is the co-chair of the committee. Asked me two–a planted question really about a claim that I didn’t make in my testimony, that wasn’t made in the 19 hours or whatever it was of previous testimony. It had nothing to do with the case–which I was not making because it had been–it was a claim about showing 9/11 with–Fahrenheit 9/11 in a biology class. Fahrenheit 9/11 had been shown in classes across the country right before the election.
Anyway, the–when that was challenged and we couldn’t confirm it, we withdrew it. That’s months before these committee hearings. Scott’s Inside Higher Education and it’s story on the–whatever it was, nine hours of committee hearings at Temple, was headlined that all he interviewed me was about this one claim that I didn’t make and that is what Bill Scheuerman is referring to. And that becomes part of the Horowitz fact checking. This is just–this is–look, we have a very serious problem here. And it will be in the end, I can see, it’s forming up to be–to get to be–could be destructive to our educational institutions.
If you’re going to play this game of polemical warfare and blood fest by seizing irrelevant points that have nothing to do with the massive evidence we’ve produced–I’ve also testified in Kansas. I talked earlier today. Bill wasn’t here. We had six or seven students describe classes which they entered like in women’s studies where the beginning of the class is a chant, no [on Arnolds] and no on recall, which what does that have to do with women’s studies, and so forth.
Whole courses devoted to ideological indoctrination, no question about it. We never get an answer. There is no response from the other side. There is just–find a word misspelled, find some claim that is completely irrelevant and challenge that. So–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. Candace and then Terry wanted to–and then, we’re going to get Bill.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: –I have to say one thing–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Very quickly, please.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: One thing to my friend, Bill, here. I never asked that governors set this agenda. Governors not so much define the agenda as put in trustees who have vision and who are appointed–that they appoint in forum and independent trustees who are committed to academic freedom for all.
Scott, with respect to the point that you raised, you suggested students are really just not particularly interested in this problem. It’s explained to student ad nauseum what their complaints could be about race and gender, but not about viewpoint discrimination. That’s the one thing. So the education on this subject is not there.
Secondly, the grievance procedures on this particular issue are not well-publicized on campuses, as I said earlier. For example, in student orientation this is the case. In addition, many students are simply too intimidated to put in their grievance–to file their grievances. And this is extremely common and I’ve heard many, many cases over the year.
Fourth, the process is when grievances are filed are strung out forever and ever and students leave the campuses before in fact their grievances are resolved.
And finally, the records don’t exist or the records maybe do exist, but even the trustee can’t get her or his hands on them. So those are the problems. That’s my answer to you.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. Terry, did you want to jump in here? And then, we’ll get the audience’s–.
TERRY HARTLE: Well, I almost don’t know where to start. It will come as a great surprise to many college and university presidents that students don’t know how to complain. I must say, the Internet has made complaining very, very easy on college and university campuses. It ought to be quite a surprise. I also hear this – that students are too intimidated to complain. I really don’t think students are too intimidated to complain. Sometimes in our society we have to do things that are difficult Sometimes we have to confront people who are–have positions of superiority in terms of rank, in terms of age, in terms of position and bring something to their attention that might be difficult.
This is in some ways a good lesson of citizenship, which Tom would like to have more of. On anecdotes. Look, if your data are anecdotes and some of your anecdotes turn out to be of questionable validity, your data is of questionable validity. This should not surprise anyone. Anecdotes and anecdotes. The plural form of the word anecdote is not data. It is anecdotes. And they really don’t add up to very much. So, again, I say, we have a lot of anecdotes, some of which may or may not be true. That doesn’t constitute data that would pass any sort of a test on any college or university.
So I think that we need to ask ourselves whether or not we’re serious about this and can come up with data or whether we’re going to continue to rely on anecdotes that can be attacked as anecdotes when they’re valid.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I’d like to get a question here. And before you ask a question, if you could introduce yourself, please. Yes, here.
QUESTION: Hi. I’m [inaudible-no microphone].
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. Thank you. Yes?
QUESTION: Concerning anecdotal–?
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Okay. Could you introduce yourself and–?
QUESTION: [Inaudible]. I’m a professor and I just wanted to say that what you’re calling anecdotal, we call qualitative research in the post-modern paradigm in particular. [Inaudible.] We call that data. If you don’t believe that, just go to the ARA Conference next week in San Francisco, and you will see that probably out of 10,000 people, maybe 500 or less do believe in the type of data you are talking about, which is quantitative data. This is completely validated education. This is actually the reigning paradigm in educational research at the moment. It’s qualitative research. Those are not anecdotes. That is data.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Terry, would you like to respond to that?
TERRY HARTLE: Are you a professor?
QUESTION: Yes, I am.
TERRY HARTLE: Good God.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Yes, you. No, there is someone first in the back. Yes.
QUESTION: [Tom Preger], Legislative Director, UUP. One real quick comment. The Academic Bill of Rights that was introduced in New York was not a resolution. There were enforcement mechanisms in the bill. The enforcement mechanism was to take the grievance procedure off the campus where it exists now and I believe bring it up to the system level and put it in the hands of the trustees. So that was much more than a resolution.
A question for Mr. Horowitz. The mantra today seems to be intellectual diversity. But I sat through a student panel and it was great. And the students were very well spoken, bright, articulate, belied the notion that students were slackers and not politically involved today. But all of them seemed to identify themselves as either conservatives or Republican activists every one. If that’s your notion of intellectual diversity, couldn’t you find anybody else for that [pin]?
The second question for Trustee de Russy. I attended the meeting that you referenced, the March 16 meeting of the Academic Standards Committee, State University Board of Trustees. It was a committee that you used to chair. At that meeting, there were four campus presidents who gave testimony, all of whom said they looked through all of the campus grievance procedures. The president of Plattsburgh said he went back to 1978 and there were no grievances filed of students being trampled because of their political or religious views.
The president at Albany, same thing. The president at Cobleskill, Tom Haas, same thing. The elective student representatives read resolutions that were passed that most of the–at the SUNY’s 64 campuses in opposition to the Academic Bill of Rights. The elected representative of the faculty governance organization at the community college is the faculty council read resolutions from most of their campuses in opposition to the Academic Bill of Rights. The chair of the faculty senate -these are university-funded bodies – say things. Resolution from the general statewide organization, all the state chapters against it.
So if there’s this groundswell of problems out there, I mean, these are data. The presidents, the faculty, the students said this is unnecessary. Are you listening to someone [inaudible]?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. Candace? David? Who wants to go first? You’ve each got questions.
DAVID HOROWITZ: Could you identify yourself?
SCOTT JASCHIK: He did.
DAVID HOROWITZ: Who is–what is he? What’s his–?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Could you identify yourself again?
QUESTION: I’m Tom Preger. I’m Legislative Director for UUB.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: I’ll go first.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay, Candace.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: I tuned in by phone to that meeting. And again, I agree with the assessment that it was–it resembled Kabuki theater. You had this lineup of SUNY insiders. I had asked that David be included or Anne Neal of ACTA be allowed to speak or somebody from the outside. But there was this element–oh no, we can’t have this as a SUNY problem. This is all about us internally.
So, number one, that was refused. And in my mind, that’s a sign of closed mindedness. Second of all, they all lined up in a row and said their piece, their policies on campus, and of course, that’s true. The glossy material says we have academic freedom on this campus. That’s what they mean by their policies. But they do not have specific wording when it comes to grievances about viewpoint discrimination. It’s race and gender, yes.
And we’ve made the point that you could easily put in this language of viewpoint discrimination in the current machinery they have. They make the point this would be very expensive. No, it wouldn’t be. Not at all. So these things were not address there. Everyone got up, said their little piece about the fact that there’s no problems. How about the speakers that they had? Do you know that there was not one student invited. There was not one effort made system-wide to find one student who would come up with a complaint. Nor was there anybody there to speak to any complaints. For example, a Rockport case–speech code case that in fact has been resolved.
There was no mention of these things. On the speaker front, when it came to faculty, there was an intention to–originally on this agenda to include one untenured professor who had the courage to come forward and describes himself as a Democrat moderate. A moderate Democrat. I was at [indiscernible] and said I disagreed with this terribly. I said you invite these other couple of people I suggested. The day before the event they invited one of these people and three days before that the other. So I’m telling you what I say is that was a very trumped-up affair. And not at all a fair hearing on this issue. And shameful when it comes to really taking a look–an open-minded look at academic freedom.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. David, do you want to respond to the part of the question that was to you?
DAVID HOROWITZ: Of course. I get this feeling often that I’m behind the old Iron Curtain when I’m dealing with these university people. It is so dispiriting to have to prove the obvious when you have people in denial of reality. Look, the SUNY system has got 69 campuses, it has 400,000 students. There’s not a single university president, not an administration, who will respond to the chairman of the regions who asked university presidents to invite me to a campus.
There might be 30 leftists for every one conservative, although we could hardly find a handful of conservatives in the entire SUNY system to–who we could appeal to on the Academic Bill of Rights. And you can’t get a liberal to do it because–if they’re not intimidated they’re just part of the party wide.
If–I mean, you sat through them. And to ask for diversity. There is more diversity in this room than there is in the whole SUNY system. Well, you can protest that. The dead faith here is monumental. How many cases of sexual harassment were brought up before the universities instituted speech codes. How many cases of actual discrimination? How much was not anecdotal? Nobody cared about this. Nobody.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I want to–.
DAVID HOROWITZ: –So–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Hold on. I want to get more people involved. But there was a question on this side.
DAVID HOROWITZ: And you all–one thing is you all avoid the fact that the case that we have made is based on curricular statements I gave this morning and in my Kansas testimony. You have a social welfare chorus which is a reading of a leftist tract on American history going back to Columbus in a social work program. There is not a single official in the entire Kansas system who will raise an objection to this chorus even though it’s an explicit policy of the Kansas Board of Regents that this violates their regulations. And you won’t–you in the AUP, you won’t speak up for it. You’re too busy defending Sammy Al-Arian and Terry Karamadan and other terrorists on university faculties.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I think what I’d like to do to be fair is sort of go back and forth between the two mikes. So if people want to get in line. And here’s somebody.
QUESTION: Okay. Don Downs from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which was referred to earlier as one of the redoubts of the left in America. Some of you know, and I’ll tell you later, I am a die-hard anti-speech code person. I defended David Horowitz’s right to publish his cartoon on racial reparations in the Badger Herald. And a group I represent at Madison and you’ll hear about later today rose to the Herald’s defense.
But–sort of–and we agreed very much with the–David and others’ diagnoses of the problem. The question is one of means. Now let me just pose a quick question for the panel. One of the complaints or criticisms we made during our crusade at Madison, which was successful, against the speech codes after they were passed in the early 1990s and late 1980s, was that there are more informal ways of dealing with ideological oppression or intellectual oppression on campus.
And one thing was for–very similar to what Terry Hartle said–was for students to stand up and speak for themselves, defend themselves, find allies. If they don’t–like one of the professors said, if a professor offends them in class, stand up and speak as an American citizen. Don’t run to the [indiscernible] state to enforce a speech code.
But now, I’m hearing the same arguments that we were criticizing in our anti-speech code drive made by defenders of the Student Bill of Rights, who also hate speech codes. Tell me why there’s not a problem there.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I’d like to have two respondents. Maybe a–somebody in favor of the Academic Bill of Rights and somebody opposed. And maybe, Tom do you want to speak to that and then–?
TOM LUCERO: Well, I’d love to address it from a governance issue, in particular, and going back to Bill’s comment earlier because you asked what’s the problem. And I think this is endemic of what the problem is because Bill mentioned earlier about how the faculty know. The faculty are responsible for curriculum. Well, let me through out a little analogy.
Can you imagine the chief of police going to a major–or to a mayor of a major city and saying, oh, by the way, we know crime’s a problem. You’re neighbor just got shot, but by the way, we’re the experts in how to deal with crime and punishment. Stay out of our business. And when governing boards try and address this issue of intellectual diversity, intellectual balance, and as far as core curriculum, we are told by the faculty that this is our domain. You–.
QUESTION: –You didn’t answer my question. We [aren’t] treating the students as helpless victims that need outside support.
TOM LUCERO: Well–but the issue is, is legislation necessary. Let me. I understand that. Let me finish.
QUESTION: Tom, I’m curious. Do you support speech codes?
TOM LUCERO: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. But to get to his question, what is the difference between a speech code that would say if you say something I consider racist and offends me, you can be brought up on charges versus the Academic Bill of Rights?
I’m going a long ways to answer his question, but let me finish this up. I say the individuals who should be responsible tying this into the theme is legislation necessary is the governing board. The governing board should be responsible for making certain that speech codes don’t exist, that intellectual diversity–and a student should not have the responsibility of dealing with the power center on a university, which is in the faculty and the administrative hands. Because you were saying that the faculty and administration can do what they want. As Bill has said, this is our domain – curriculum, what is taught in the classroom. And so, we’re arming 18, 19, 20-year-old students with the responsibility of needing to defend themselves.
And I’m talking about this from a legislative governance perspective. And until you empower governing boards to set the policy and take that responsibility out of the students’ hands, you’re not going to achieve that [indiscernible].
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I want to give Bill a chance, but I want to really appeal to everybody given all the questions for very short answers.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: Your basic question is–essentially, you are saying we are being paternalistic. The students don’t know their own interests. That’s what I find offensive about the Academic Bill of Rights. And I saw the same thing from the left in the 1960s when people were saying in the 1960s you don’t really know what’s good for you, but we will help you. I rejected that crap then, and I don’t like this now.
We’re smart enough to make our own decisions. We’re educated, we’re bright, we’re human. We are not sponges that just absorb everything that’s thrown at us.
DAVID HOROWITZ: We have a case in the room which shows why students are not helpless. They need help. And let me just say the government did not institute speech codes. No government in this country would institute speech codes because they’re unconstitutional. And the lawyers on the staff committees would tell them that. And we have a situation where, for example, in Pennsylvania there are 15, as [David Franks testified], out of 17 Penn State universities that violate the constitution today. And the Democrat on the committee, right after he said this, said this committee is a waste of time.
That’s the reality that we’re dealing with. Now, [Ruth Bell Haltra] is an A-student in public policy taking a course required for the major. When she went and told her professor she was going to be gone today because she had to–wanted to attend a conservative conference and was told that she would be failed. And then, was failed as an A-student–nobody gets an F in college anymore anyway. And F on paper after paper. And had to decide–this is her major. This is a professor in her field. What to do about it. And when it was revealed even, they let her withdraw from the course. Nothing happened to this professor. Nothing was done in this situation until I went there and met with the governor’s education advisor and say the governor has to make a call to the president of the school.
That is the situation. These people are the problem. And Bill and the AAUP will not do anything about this. And therefore, it is necessary to go to legislative bodies to ring the governor’s–ring the president’s office. He will listen. Something will be done. You tell me another way do it, I’ll do it.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Before–I want to go to Jamie first, but by any chance, is there any–are there any Penn State administrators here? Okay. Jamie?
QUESTION: My name is Jamie Horowitz. No relation to the other Horowitz. And probably the reason for that is I work for the American Federation of Teachers. Last night at the debate, I feel like I had to–I know I’ve been criticized and the AFT has been criticized for calling the other Mr. Horowitz on inaccuracies. But one of the ones, and I’m sure he’ll say it’s a minor one, is he implied that faculty all across the country are tenured. When the reality is that 43% of the faculty of the United States are part-time who have no tenure rights, 11% are full-time non-tenure track faculty. Only about a third of the faculty in the United States right now are tenured faculty and that number is shrinking all the time.
And this conference is about academic freedom for students. But the reality of it is, for this group of faculty that now make up the majority of the faculty in the United States, many of them, if there’s a complaint by a student, their contract is not renewed. There’s been cases that have gone all the way through federal court because like in English classes, there was one instance, for example, where there was a course where the professor was talking about–words that are used to offend. And some students found that offensive and the faculty member was removed.
I raise all this because there is a growing–what is a fact is that there is a growing percentage of faculty in the United States who do not have academic freedom protections. We can talk about how this affects students, but the fact of the matter is the majority of faculty don’t have the kind of academic freedom protections they once had. And so, I’m curious. With your strong interest in academic freedom, would the people on the panel support added academic freedom protections for non-tenure track and part-time faculty across the country?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. How about 30 seconds from each person?
QUESTION: And I would also–if I could just–one last point, too, just to clarify another error from last night. The average state university professor does not make anywhere near $100,000 a year, Mr. Horowitz. And it’s really about half that. And I think maybe Mr. Hartle could back me on that. Thank you.
DAVID HOROWITZ: Every single statement by the AUP on academic freedom is–or every–is a declaration of or statement of principles on academic freedom and tenure. And therefore, I address the issue. Academic freedom is extricably bound to tenure. It is not about individual rights. And therefore, I said tenured professors–and as you can see, this is the kind of opposition I have to deal with. This becomes a factual error by David Horowitz or some kind of deception. A misrepresentation–thank you. This makes conversation absolutely impossible.
And I didn’t say that–the figures in the Chronicle of Higher Education are that professors can make $100,000 to $170,000. I believe the average professor, full professor at Harvard makes that. When I testified in Kansas, I looked up the figures. Okay. The average full professor in Kansas state universities makes $93,000 a year. Close enough.
TERRY HARTLE: But to answer–just quickly on Jamie’s question. A lot of–.
DAVID HOROWITZ: –I would be–.
TERRY HARTLE: –Non-tenured professors [indiscernible]. Do you support that?
DAVID HOROWITZ: The problem with academic freedom is, it is the principles–academic standards are not enforced. You have professors mouthing off on their ignorance. You haven’t addressed that. When the AAUP sits down and says we are going to impose on our members and we are going to demand from the universities that professors act professionally in the classroom, that they don’t indoctrinate, that they don’t attack George Bush in English classes, I will consider extending academic freedom protections to adjuncts and to lecturers.
It happens that the worst abusers in the entire university system of students are untenured, the lecturers that you’re talking about. Why do I want to protect political ideologs who have come into the universities to recruit people for their ridiculous and destructive causes under the pretense of being academic?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I think you’ve now answered. Terry, do you support having academic freedom? Candace?
CANDACE DE RUSSY: I think something actually must be done to protect the speech rights, if you will, of the untenured adjuncts and so forth. I had a somewhat different experience of them in these past years. It’s that they are under–they appear to be under particular pressure to be politically correct in all things because they are moving toward tenure and so they keep their mouths shut a great deal. They–their opinions appear to be severely suppressed in this regard. So that does–that’s a matter of concern to me.
Secondly, I happen to support some new tenure system, reform of tenure, call it attenuated tenure, so that there will be in fact greater review, more performance-based review of even tenured professors on a regular basis. And that there will in fact be more opportunities for the adjuncts and the younger professors coming through. So that’s my answer.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. Bill? Academic freedom for a non-tenured professor?
BILL SCHEUERMAN: Yes, I’d like to see more of that. I don’t know exactly how you would do it. My question to David. You just made what I think is an outrageous statement. The worst violators of academic freedom are the people who are most vulnerable. Where’s your data? Where did that come from? I mean, it makes no sense logically. If you have data, I’ll be convinced. But where does it come from?
DAVID HOROWITZ: It comes from the complaints that I receive. The students will say–first of all, some of the courses among the indoctrination courses that we’ve dealt with–and it comes from actually people on your side defending it because they say well, it’s only lecturers. Writing courses. The writing courses–when I went to Columbia centuries ago, the writing courses still are about students don’t get the proper writing education in high schools and so they can’t write papers. That’s what it’s about. It’s about training people in writing papers.
So when I went to Columbia, we read writers. We knew how to write. Today, they have these theme freshman writing courses and environmentalism and feminism and racism taught be English instructors. So these are people who have no qualifications to talk about race–no academic qualifications to talk about race, to talk about the environment. All they’re doing is spreading their prejudices and ignorance. And they are–that’s where I guess the worst abuse is. So that was what that statement meant.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Just hold on for one second. We are officially at the end of the time. But I am quite content to continue for some more questions if the panel–I know Bill is–.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: –I have a plane to make.
SCOTT JASCHIK: You’re unable to stay.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: I’m staying here because I want–.
DAVID HOROWITZ: –I missed my lunch so you could get your point–.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: –I’ll buy your lunch next time I see you. Okay?
SCOTT JASCHIK: So, thank you, Bill. But now, Tom, I didn’t give you a chance on that last question. Did you want to address the academic freedom for adjuncts, Tom?
TOM LUCERO: Yes. And I’ll address it from this perspective. And given the fact that I only have 30 seconds, I’ll do it quickly. I serve on the only committee in the history of the United States who exhaustively review tenure in all hiring policy practices related to adjuncts, everything. University of Colorado, thanks in part to our famous professor, have been looking at this issue for 14 months. And one of the biggest concerns on that committee is how do you define standards. Once we define those standards, absolutely. Once you can measure and define what accountability is, then absolutely, you need to provide and defend for academic freedom in the classroom.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Yes, sir?
QUESTION: My name is [indiscernible-accented]. I’m a professor at the University of Minnesota. And most of my questions are for Bill and for Terry. Terry, maybe you can deputize for Bill. If I am to understand you right, I shouldn’t worry. I should be happy. The existing procedures are taking care of what problems there are. But are there not some serious problems with, for example, the hounding off campus of conservative speakers true? Mercifully, rarer now than it used to be, but is very common and greeted with total [indiscernible] anonymity by administrations? Isn’t there a problem with overreaching speech codes? And isn’t there a problem with overtly political departments like women’s studies, and [indiscernible] studies and the like? Isn’t there a problem with professional societies taking stands on current political issues on which they have no special expertise? And finally–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –That’s a bunch of problems. So maybe, let’s let Terry answer.
BILL SCHEUERMAN: Good luck.
TERRY HARTLE: I’m just interested–the Academic Bill of Rights deals essentially with the issue I guess of professors trying to impose their views on other students and students being discriminated against in their–in the classroom because of views that they might hold involving personal political preferences and what not. But much of what we’ve been talking about on this panel are speech codes, civic literacy, course readings, and profession–now, professional societies. We seem to be all over the map with the problems here. I think speech codes were very much an issue and I think institutions instituted those thinking they were doing the right thing.
And I think over time it became clear that that was not the right thing and that institutions have significantly moved away from them. I think speakers on campus often have different receptions. Certainly, David has found a hostile reaction on more than one campus when he has spoken. And my view is that that is wrong and unacceptable. Campuses are supposed to be places for free and open debate and discussion and all speakers ought to be welcome there.
There was a time when some radical speakers were not welcomed on the other side We seem to go through cycles in those. Gosh, professional societies. I don’t know about professional societies. That’s really not something I have much to deal with. And fields of studies like–what was that one–core studies–women’s studies.
You know, look, the institutions approve those. Usually, it’s my impression that faculty usually has some say in the creation of new academic departments on campus. So it seems to me that if the faculty are unhappy with this, the faculty ought to intervene in it. Personally, I think if you take courses in those fields you probably have some idea what you’re getting into when you enroll in them. If you don’t, you probably ought to do a little bit better job of preparing for the classes.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. One minute from Candace.
CANDACE DE RUSSY: Just one little comment here. Yes, well, maybe we are moving away from speech codes. But it is not to the credit of the status quo. The status quo has been forced to start moving away from speech codes. For example, by the efforts of this organization and also, thanks to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education, and that is FIRE.
QUESTION: The big–one big difference on the panel is the question of whether this is an extensive problem or whether this is a trivial problem. Could members of the panel suggest how we could empirically test these two competing planes? And however extensive this problem is, what should be the consequence for a professor who does abuse their position?
SCOTT JASCHIK: Who wants to go first? David?
DAVID HOROWITZ: Yes. It’s really relatively easy. I mean, there are two big issues. I think we have this pamphlet–there’s a pamphlet with a Liberty Bell, which is the Pennsylvania hearings. If you go to the back of that you will see the questions addressed to university presidents. Universities have policies. You can put the policies against the courses and you will see that entire programs at the university–Steve Walters’ testimony is in there as well, which you should read–violate the existing regulations. And the question to the presidents is how they can justify this statement in their policies with this program. That’s one.
The second is the university could provide each incoming freshman what they can expect professionally from their professor, and particularly how it accords with the academic freedom provisions that they already have in place. And then, it could provide each student with an–each student actually does have a professor evaluation. Unfortunately, these evaluations have to go through the professor. They need to go through the central administration. Evaluate them according to was this professor respectful of different political perspectives in the class. Did this professor intrude into the classroom irrelevant rants on Hurricane Katrina or the war in Iraq and so forth. That would be done like that. Why isn’t it done? Because they know there is a monstrous problem and it’s a huge embarrassment to them and they want to suppress it.
And they are trying to stonewall. This is all about stonewalling now. And I exempt Terry from this. He’s not a university administrator and he’s not a union representative. But he representatives all of these organizations. He’s got a difficult job there. But that’s–it’s stonewalling is all this is about. And we would break down the stone wall. As soon as we can get it, we will find some legislature which will be able to provide us with a budget to do this. We try–we’ve been trying to survey ourselves the university–the Pennsylvania State system is a big problem, like you can’t get the email addresses. All things the university could do like that. But they don’t want to do it. When they do it, you’ll see the problem. Or, hey, I’ll meet that test. If there’s no problem, there’s no problem.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Terry?
TERRY HARTLE: Well, it doesn’t–thank you for exempting me. Please don’t. It doesn’t help me with the people who pay my salary. Yes. Thanks. Appreciate that.
If it were easy to document this, it would have been done. And I think the challenge of figuring out some way to gather information on this problem in a reliable and valid fashion is–probably explains why somebody hasn’t done it. Indeed, my suspicion is there are faculty all around the country that would be all too happy to do it if they could figure out an easy way to do it because it would obviously be something that would be of widespread public interest.
I think it’s just very hard to get a handle on this outside of the anecdotal realm, particularly when you’ve got so many things going on around here like speech codes, and Kansas State social work classes and professional societies. There–the Academic Bill of Rights as drafted in HR-609 to a large extent unpacks that and deals with just two of those issues.
So I think–I don’t think it’s easy and I think there are multiple things going on that people are worried about. And until we–but until we figure out a way to do this, there will be a great deal of–
[End Disc 4]
Terry Hartle: [cont’d] –controversy about whether it is anecdotal and therefore silly, or anecdotal and therefore valid. And when the incidents and the anecdotes turn out to be not exactly right, there will be people who will say the whole edifice is a house of cards. And I think that that is fundamentally the problem we’re going to have until we can have a discussion on this.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I’d like to get another question in. Yes?
QUESTION: I’m Sean Allen, a right-wing mole. My question to you, Mr. Hartle, obviously, it’s been some years since you’ve been in school. Number one, how are you–.
Terry Hartle: –I’ve been in school more recently than David, so are you going to–?
QUESTION: –But not me. How are you qualified to speak for high schools and college students around the country saying that they can’t be intimidated by the teachers who hold their grade and inevitably their future in their hands? And also, you keep talking about anecdotes and speak of things like anecdotes. I have a couple of recordings that I would like to show you that obviously are not anecdotes and are actual data proving this.
TOM LUCERO: Sean, I wasn’t–and I’m not sure if Terry was at the earlier session. Could you just say where you’re a student?
QUESTION: I was previously a student at Oberlin High School. I recorded my teacher, [Jay Benisch].
Terry Hartle: Look, there are 2.3 million college professors in America. What one or two do are anecdotes. What a dozen do are anecdotes. It does not prove a pattern . This is this continual thinking. We’ve heard one professor say something, therefore, 2.3 million faculty members are wrong. It’s simply unacceptable. You can’t simply make that leap and have anybody treat you with any seriousness. Nobody is making–can I finish or are you going to interrupt? I mean–.
Terry Hartle: You–this tendency to say we’ve got a couple of examples and therefore the whole thing is wrong, is rotten, we need legislation, we need to interfere, simply does not follow.
QUESTION: Nobody is making that leap, however. What we are saying is that indoctrination is–in any section in the school system, whether it be at the college level or whether it be at the high school level. I would propose a counter question. Would you like to pay college tuition, tens of thousands of dollars a year, to send your son or daughter to a school where she would be trying to major in history and learning about how George Bush is the worst president or the best president? Would you like to pay that money to hear that from a history teacher?
Terry Hartle: What makes you think I’m not paying money right now to send my daughter to college?
QUESTION: But there–you–.
Terry Hartle: –No. What makes you think I’m not paying money right now to send my daughter to college? What makes you think I don’t have experience doing this right now as a professor with one of the schools to get singled out in David’s speeches? What makes you think that?
QUESTION: I’m not saying that. I’m saying that–oh. I’m saying that–.
SCOTT JASCHIK: –Tom and then, Candace, why don’t you get in on this?
TOM LUCERO: Sean, thank you very much. Trying to address this issue from a public policy perspective, yes, I hear what Terry is saying. I’m going to concede his anecdotal for the purpose of this argument. Therefore, as someone who is responsible for setting public policy, I have to look for facts.
We do have a survey out there. And I’m not going to define this as the individual indoctrination. I’m going to go back to a point Terry referenced earlier, and that’s about civic literacy. ACTA in 2001 conducted a survey. Help me out here, Candace. Was it 20, 22 universities, majorly Ivy–50–50 universities around the country, major Ivy League schools, top private, top public, research one universities. What did we find out? Found of 99% of the kids who were surveyed could identify Beavis and Butthead. Only 27% could identify the fact that George Washington was the General who led the American Army during the revolution.
We’re not doing our job educating our students. And these are the students who are going to graduate and become the next generation of leaders in this country. It’s time to address this issue. And trying to step back and look at it from major public policy, it’s time we began to define what civic literacy is, what the standards are. At the University of Colorado, we have over 400 classes on the Boulder campus that comprise the core curriculum.
How you can allow an 18, 19, 20-year-old student to go out there and put a core curriculum together that is going to educate them that they are going to have a foundation in what they need to know? Until you begin to address these issues from a significant public policy perspective, you’re going to continue to hear what you hear from Terry and from those individuals on the left. And until you define what the standards are and should be for graduates at the undergraduate level, we’re going to continue to have this discussion.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Okay. I am receiving advice from an intellectually diverse group that we are late and have run too long. So my apologies to the questions we couldn’t get to. And please join me in thanking the panel.