Friday, February 04, 2005

College Student's Bill of Rights

From the Dayton Daily News (registration required):
Concerned that Ohio college students' young minds are being indoctrinated by left-leaning college faculty, four Republican state senators have introduced an "academic bill of rights for higher education" that would limit what professors could say in their classrooms. It also would give students and faculty a formal grievance procedure if they feel they've been discriminated against.

"I think it's accepted knowledge that most of the faculty at our universities, particularly in the humanities and the social sciences, has a left-wing bias," said state Sen. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana. "Eight or nine out of 10 are Democrats or of the left-leaning persuasion."
The president of Wright State University's faculty union called the proposal "ridiculous" and predicted it would not gain enough support to become law.

The bill "threatens the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom by putting restrictions on teaching and academic inquiry," said Paulette Olson, WSU professor of economics and president of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors. "It is based on the weak premise that faculty members are out there indoctrinating their students with left-wing ideology."
Sinclair Community College President Steven Lee Johnson is skeptical that a state academic bill of rights is needed.

"The proportion of faculty squandering their gift of tenure and academic freedom on ideological demagoguery is so small that it is on the very bottom of the list of real problems that we have within our colleges and across our society," Johnson said.

The Sinclair president said the legislation "could very easily be used as a weapon against good and skillful professors."
Wow! What would this all powerful legislation do?
The bill — spearheaded by state Sen. Larry Mumper, R-Marion, and co-sponsored by Jordan, Cates and State Sen. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon — would require every state-supported college and university in Ohio to:

• Prohibit faculty members and instructors from "persistently introducing controversial matter into the classroom or course work that has no relation to their subject of study" and that serves no educational purpose related to the academic subject;

• Hire, fire and promote faculty based on their "competence and appropriate knowledge in their field of expertise" rather than on their "political, ideological or religious beliefs;" and

•Adopt a grievance procedure by which students or faculty could "seek redress" if they feel they've been discriminated against based on their beliefs and to disclose the grievance procedure in course catalogs, student handbooks and Web sites.
Good God! We're shredding the Constitution! Call off the football game, man, we got serious problems! Cancel classes, we must protest this horrible stomping on of rights!


What? Oh...the liberals are just trying desperately to defend their echo chamber? Well, then...surely that's alright.


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