Colleges Urged to Move from Left; Scholars Seek New Programs
Byline: Amy Fagan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Higher education - dominated by left-leaning faculty - has become, in many instances, a politically charged arena that stifles free exchange of ideas and should be made more ideologically diverse with new academic programs and departments, argued scholars attending a panel discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute this week.
They presented essays Wednesday at the daylong conference, "Reforming the Politically Correct University," which will be collected into a book, due out in August.
"There clearly is a problem," said Robert Maranto, a political science professor at Villanova University who is leading the book project. He said that although most academics are "good, well-meaning people" and some schools such as Villanova are fine, many schools "limit conservative and libertarian thought" on campus.
"The two things you need is some diversity of ideological views and more tolerance for those with alternative views," he said.
Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, said that if faculty and administrators don't act, "trustees and alumni can and should step in" to bring change. She praised several new academic programs aimed at diversifying thought on campus, such as Princeton's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and University of Illinois at Urbana and Champaign's new Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government. The goal, she said, isn't to produce more Republicans but to produce educated citizens who can contemplate both sides of an issue.
Stephen Balch, president of the National Association of Scholars, said programs that challenge majority opinion should be turned into actual departments. Mr. …