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UCLA Students Urged to Expose 'Radical' Professors

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the jones-youth-program dept.

Education 1229

rts008 writes to tell us Reuters is reporting that a conservative alumni group is working hard to expose 'radical professors'. The group is a creation of 2003 UCLA graduate, Andrew Jones, who stated that he runs the organization on his own with $22,000 in private donations. From the article: "Jones told Reuters he is out to 'restore an atmosphere of respectful political discourse on campus' and says his efforts are aimed at academics who proselytize students from either side of the ideological spectrum, conservative or liberal. 'We are concerned solely with indoctrination, one-sided presentation of ideological controversies and unprofessional classroom behavior,' Jones said on his Web site." The tactics used by Jones and his group are raising quite a few questions, however, offering to pay students for recordings or teaching materials that could provide 'evidence' against professors in question.

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Read my ... (0)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529540)

sig.

It's only fascism when the government is doing it (3, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529601)

this group is not affiliated with the government

Re:It's only fascism when the government is doing (2, Insightful)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529643)

this group is not affiliated with the government

Considering the behavior of the present government, please don't mind me while I remain skeptical. The peddling of influence sufficiently blurs the line as to just where the government stops nowadays.

Like hell (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529662)

Before Mussolini took power, he was the leader of the Fascist Party. Do you still say it's only fascism when the government does it, or should Mussolini have changed the name to suit your viewpoint?

In the US the government is the general public. (0, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529719)

Remember, the US is supposedly a republic. In a republic, the government is not exactly a separate entity from the general public. Indeed, it is indirectly made up of each and every voting individual. So when a private groups resorts of fascism, and they support the republican-style government, then it is a case of fascism.

WTF??? (4, Interesting)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529739)

I am apalled by the comments here, especially this one. Fascism? This guy is getting people to find out which professors are spouting (what he deems) absurd or unbalanced ideas and engage in (what he deems) unprofessional behavior, and then getting these people to document it.

And what's wrong with that is ... ?

Why are people afraid that others will find out their opinions? If you don't want people to find out your opinions, DON'T VOICE THEM TO A LECTURE HALL FULL OF STUDENTS. If you don't want people to think you act unprofessionally in your position as a professor, DON'T ACT UNPROFESSIONALLY IN YOUR POSITION AS A PROFESSOR.

When did it become damaging to free speech to spread someone's message?

That's not a rhetorical question. Please, tell me.

Hey, the right to speek freely... (4, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529549)

...does not include the right to speak without criticism.

Re:Hey, the right to speek freely... (0, Flamebait)

revscat (35618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529614)

There is a line between criticism and intimidation. Given the fascist tendencies of the modern conservative movement this has more characteristics of the latter than the former.

But don't worry. I'm sure some Democrat somewhere at some point did something similar, which justifies, of course, anything.

Having said that this, at least, is hopeful:

News of the campaign prompted former Republican congressman James Rogan, who helped lead impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton in the U.S. House of Representatives, to resign from the group's advisory board.

Good for you, Rep. Rogan.

Re:Hey, the right to speek freely... (2, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529642)

Given the fascist tendencies of the modern conservative movement this has more characteristics of the latter than the former.

Not that you're going to bother supporting that comment, obviously. Just light the fuse and pretend that's somehow insightful. Evidence, reason, logical argumentation - these are the implements of lesser men, right?

Re:Hey, the right to speek freely... (1, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529724)

If the facts are not obvious to you by this point in time then nothing I can say will convince you differently.

They're not "conservatives". (5, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529664)

Please do not confuse Republicans and their followers with conservatives. Indeed, they are very different groups holding very different beliefs.

Conservatives stand for freedom, liberty, individual responsibility, honest prosperity, and peace.

Republicans (and many Democrats, too) stand for the supression of liberties and freedoms (often in the name of "security"), do not promote responsibility, and often resort to corruption and illegal means of obtaining wealth. These days, they obtain much of their wealth via wars, which contradicts directly with peace.

Today it is Republicans who are moving towards (if they're not already in) a state of fascism. It is conservatives around the US who are taking a stand against such anti-American nonsense.

Re:They're not "conservatives". (0, Flamebait)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529743)

Conservatives stand for freedom, liberty, individual responsibility, honest prosperity, and peace.
Cheap-labour conservatives (that's their real name) only stand for their own selves. They don't care for others and the future. That's why they have guns (to "protect" themselves from the poor) and they drive SUVs (so they can squish the poor on the road).

Re:Hey, the right to speek freely... (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529683)

The purpose of this site as far as I can tell is to call people radical liberals (i.e haters of america). I am wondering if this qualifies as slander? It seems like they might be opening themselves up to lawsuits by picking random people and calling them insulting things on a public web site. I imagine that being listed as a radical would destroy the reputation of a professor especially if they get fired for being radical.

This guy doesn't seem to have too much money to go after but I bet the supporters of the web site are pretty well funded and would make attractive targets for civil suits.

Re:Hey, the right to speek freely... (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529721)

I don't understand. Do you consider the actions Andrew Jones to be "criticism"? Please explain to me how bounties for outing "radical professors" is constructive criticism, or just plain criticism. Cuz to me, it simply smells of someone not being happy with what someone else told him, and decides to pressure that someone into silence. There is no debate, there is no exchange of ideas, just plain political arm twisting. This is not about furthering academic debate; it's about imposing political beliefs.

Because you do know what this is going for, right? This is trying to establish that there is pervasive left-wing brainwashing going on in schools. Then Jones can look to Congress to rectify this problem by passing a law that forces all classes and professors to not discriminate against other political (i.e., right-wing) views. The end-result will be that everyone with a bad grade in a class will argue that they got that grade due to political discrimination, and professors will be forced to teach in the most inoffensive fashion possible.

Between this and the insistence of people to teach ID as though it is a science, the future looks grim for US education. If I ever have kids, I can guarantee you that they won't go to school in the US. Because I refuse to sabotage their competitive future in the world just to satisfy some right-wing nutjobs who have no idea what real discrimination (or debate) is.

Dumb idea (3, Insightful)

YIAAL (129110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529551)

As I've noted elsewhere, [instapundit.com] it's OK to argue for more intellectual diversity on faculties, and it's okay to complain about faculty members who bully students with different views. But the UCLA effort sloppily confuses the two and winds up looking like a blacklist, blowing its credibility in the process.

intimidation (1)

iberian411 (947793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529621)

I once heard Umass Amherst described as "90 acres surrounded by reality." Professors are always going to have a liberal or progressive (depending on your viewpoint) orientation. Collecting recordings and "evidence" of this is downright scary. It could be used as cute sound bites on the oreilly factor or worse be used to intimidate or harass faculty. eventually, it can only lead to bad.

Re:Dumb idea (5, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529703)

But the UCLA effort sloppily confuses the two and winds up looking like a blacklist, blowing its credibility in the process.

WTF? If something "winds up looking like a blacklist", it is a blacklist. You blow your own credibility by pretending otherwise.

Hooray America! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529553)

Love what you've done with the place lately. No, really. What makes you think I'm being sarcastic?

Sorry, I'm old school (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529555)

When someone mentions a radical professor, I'm thinking of one pulling a 360 on a skateboard in a half pipe.

But once you got someone pegged as radical, what do you do then? Just warn kids picking classes about him? Or what?

Re:Sorry, I'm old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529604)

Well, in Bush's America it's time for a McCarthy era (a needed distraction from the slipping economy). As people who disagree with the president and have the audacity to give voice to that disagreement are branded as traitors, you have your answer. $22,000 in private donations. I wonder who is paying to have students spy on their professors? In whose interest would such a "donation" be?

Re:Sorry, I'm old school (1, Informative)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529618)

I suspect in this case the word "radical" means anybody who is not toeing the republican line 100%.

This is just a part of a campaign started a while ago by David Horowitz to purge democrats from universities and replace them with right wing professors.

Re:Sorry, I'm old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529716)


I suspect in this case the word "radical" means anybody who is not toeing the republican line 100%.


I think they're just following the lead of what the Democrats are doing to Joe Liberman [nypost.com] , for not goosestepping in line with the party leadership.

Re:Sorry, I'm old school (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529720)

I think Horowitz has his work cut out for him, if that's his goal.

Re:Sorry, I'm old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529729)

This is just a part of a campaign started a while ago by David Horowitz to purge democrats from universities and replace them with right wing professors.

The funny thing is that the cost to benefit ratio of teaching college versus working in industry is so bad that there are hardly any conservatives applying for college teaching jobs. What gets people to forego wealth and teach is a strong desire to serve the community and future generations, a liberal value. The way the right wing has gotten a lot of people into teaching positions is by bribing the universities, with the Hudson and Hoover and like funds supporting people preaching things like Austrian economics and Federalist legal interpretations that were debunked decades ago but happen to be politically popular.

Sorry, I'm old school-60's flashback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529622)

"But once you got someone pegged as radical, what do you do then? Just warn kids picking classes about him? Or what?"

Smoke a joint with them

GREAT IDEA! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529560)

Something tells me THIS IS IT. This is totally going to work as planned and not be abused to destroy people's careers

This sounds less like (3, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529562)

a way to balance classrooms as much as it's a witchhunt for "undesirables" and those who aren't quite right-of-center (Academia is considered to be more liberal than conservative, or at least it's presented as such). It shouldn't be allowed - What ever happened to the time when you could disagree with someone, but still respect their opinion? It's gotten disgusting in America - to the point now that you're either with us or just some asshole...

But this kind of crap shouldn't be allowed. So you disagree with your professor? Big deal - take it like an adult and agree to disagree.

-thewldisntenuff

Re:This sounds less like (2, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529581)

But this kind of crap shouldn't be allowed. So you disagree with your professor? Big deal - take it like an adult and agree to disagree.

Just don't express your disagreement, is that it?

Re:This sounds less like (2, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529589)

Not quite what I mean - I mean, you can agree to disagree with someone, right? And you can express that opinion if you wish - but what good does it do to get that person fired over a disagreement? If you've made your point known, then you're done, right? Is there a need to be that vindicative?

Re:This sounds less like (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529628)

Well, yes and no. I mean, criticism shouldn't turn into full-blown harrassment, but if your employer decides that they no longer wish to associate with you, why shouldn't they be able to make that decision?

Not that it really matters in academia - given the way tenure works, actually getting full professors fired is probably exceedingly unlikely in even the most egregious cases.

Re:This sounds less like (1)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529648)

Good point, but note that you said the if employer wishes to make that decision. This is some alumni group who's got money to throw around....If this were the faculty senate or something like that, it'd make sense, but this is merely a group of people who used to attend. That makes it worse for me

Re:This sounds less like (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529666)

The point being if you express an opinion contrary to the professor you are singled out by him/her for harassment, belittlement, etc. You often times are graded down of failed solely because your opinion does not agree with that of the professor. Where is the academic freedom and integrity in that?

Re:This sounds less like (3, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529651)

Precisely. Unless, of course, you want an F.

The only way I ace political science classes is by parroting the pinko commie crap that the professor advocates right back to him in my assignments. Works every time.

Liberal academics (0, Troll)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529636)

Academia is considered to be more liberal than conservative, or at least it's presented as such.

You ever wonder whether it might just not be a coincidence that the more learned members of society disagree with conservative values?

Re:Liberal academics (3, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529667)

I've noticed that the professors who come from industry are pretty conservative. Professors who have been in the ivory tower of academia their whole lives, however, are very liberal.

Re:Liberal academics (2, Insightful)

bobwoodard (92257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529717)

Are they more learned or are they just able to fit in successfully with another group of liberal academics? It could be the more learned have moved into the private sector? You could play this game all day long. :-) My experiance is that for some of the professors I ran into, the academic setting is the only setting they would survive in.

Re:This sounds less like (2, Funny)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529698)

(Academia is considered to be more liberal than conservative, or at least it's presented as such)

Much of academia - especially at UCLA - is far to the left of Joe Stalin.

But if your whole experince is such far-left-leaning loudmouths, your perception of even a moderate leftist, let alone a centerist, will be "to the right of Attila the Hun".

Don't bother looking for an actual conservative professor at that university. You won't find one - who talks about it.

It [identifying profesorial ideologues who abuse their students by propagandizing them in class and/or grading on their students' ideologies] shouldn't be allowed -

Free speech - stating true information and the evidence backing it - shouldn't be allowed?

What ever happened to the time when you could disagree with someone, but still respect their opinion?

What happened is "political correctness" - brainwashing techniques honed in the totalitarian regimes of the Soviet Union, China, and other Communist countries and revolutionary movements, transplanted onto campus by the radical left.

Look at you: You're apparently so indoctrinated that you actually believe it's right to suppress the speech of someone who is merely identifying (and collecting evidence to prove the identification of) professors who abuse their positions.

This is why we need article moderation. (0, Flamebait)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529565)

Because this one is nothing but flamebait.

Re:This is why we need article moderation. (1)

general_re (8883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529591)

Who wants to set the over/under for the number of comments posted? ;)

Re:This is why we need article moderation. (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529613)

We should at least make things interesting and try for a bet on the split of positive reactions to negative ones.

I pity whoever has to tally them, though.

How is that not illegal? (1)

SauroNlord (707570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529566)

Recording the lectures is against my university's policies (whether or not I agree with it, can be saved for another discussion). Encouraging others to break a universities rules and policies... how is this different from the previous slashdot article about the high school student encouraging others to overload the school's server?

Higher education is about encouraging questions and logical discussion. It is one thing if an uber-left professor is preaching of what IS CORRECT. Another if they raise questions and allow the students to come to their own conclusions through discussion.

Tenure (3, Insightful)

bobetov (448774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529569)

You know, I'm generally against tenure, because, well, it lets lousy teachers stick around long after their sell-by date. But this is exactly what it's for. Screw this guy and the nutjobs who are sponsoring him, once you have tenure, there's jack-all people can do to you. Which (in this case) is as it should be.

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529572)

I got a lot of politics tossed at me in computer science class. Even when it was what I agreed with, it wasn't why I was there. Plus all the beer and drugs left some of my classmates unable to make up their own minds on things and there was a lot of "follow the leader without thinking formyself" going on (Not just politics, coding/OS/apps too, ie why theres so many emacs users around still. VI forever.)
My image-word to type is "aflame" how did it know?

Nazi party (3, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529576)

The Nazis didn't start out in control of the government. They and the groups that they sprang from (nationlist right-wingers with a good deal of support from the military) started out by intimidating opposition and those who spoke against them.

Paging Dr. Godwin (2, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529673)

Dr. Godwin, you have a call on the white courtesy phone.

Good. (4, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529579)

While most professors encourage honest debate and discourse in their classes, there are always some who use their captive audiences, and discretion in grading, to further their political agendas.

You're paying for your education. You have a right to critique your professors.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529632)

This is not a critique of professors. This is strictly the creation of a list of shame to pressure schools to micromanage the teachings of professors. Specifically, it is designed to pressure professors to teach the least objectionable content possible - exactly the contrary of what schools are supposed to do.

Don't like your school? Transfer. There is no monopoly on education. But accept that going to a crackpot school just to hear crackpot theories will impact your future earnings.

Re:Good. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529639)

And you're also there to learn critical thinking skills and how to formulate your own opinions.

Re:Good. (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529707)

Why do people keep repeating this line? You are going to school to get enough skills in the right areas so you can get a job. You can think without shooling, and I bet you had opinions well before kindergarden. The whole reason for learning other things besides your major is not that they want you to be well rounded for the sake of being well rounded, but so you can keep yourself entertained later in life which cuts down on morale problems at work.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529695)

Of course you have the right to critique your professors. They also have a right to fail you.

Conservative students are discriminated against in academia. Yes it is true. [thefire.org]

Proud to be exposed? (5, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529582)

Indeed, it should be taken as an honour to be "exposed" by this fellow and his group. These are the kind of people that it's good to piss off. They're the sort who either have a vested (often financial) interest in the status quo, or are completely incapable of peacefully accepting the views of others (which in itself is completely anti-American).

If I were a university student, I would think of this sort of group as a blessing. They'd show which professors have the guts to provide their views without trying to self-censor. Those are the sorts of professors who are worth learning from.

To hell with you and your status quo. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529646)

Bullshit!

No instructor or professor should be allowed to display a political agenda of any type. That's unethical, unprofessional, and just plain unacceptable. And I dare say your acceptance of it is a large part of what's eroding America's education system.

People complain about accepting the status quo, then go apeshit when someone ACTUALLY QUESTIONS IT. You people are absolutely *bathed* in hypocrisy.

People always display political agendas. (5, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529688)

Don't delude yourself: people will always have a political agenda, and it will always be a part of whatever they're doing.

More importantly, it's irrelevant if a professor holds such views, and expresses them to his or her students. Any truly intelligent student (you know, this is at the university level!) should be able to recognize such bias, and take it into account while taking a particular course.

University often isn't about sitting there and accepting what the professors say as fact. It's about hearing ideas that may differ from yours, so as to make you think a little bit harder than you normally would. It takes real responsibility to partake in and make use of a university-level education.

And the worst possible thing to do is either believe or insist that professors not involve their personal, biased views. That's the whole point of getting an education! To be bombarded by views you wouldn't have even bothered to consider, even if you do happen to disagree with them in the end.

Re:To hell with you and your status quo. (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529726)

I'll bet in your ideal world, people don't get out of college with much by the way of analytic thinking or debating ability.

Re:Proud to be exposed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529674)

If I were a university student, I would think of this sort of group as a blessing. They'd show which professors have the guts to provide their views without trying to self-censor. Those are the sorts of professors who are worth learning from. ...and apparently also the sorts who failed to teach you NOT TO END A SENTENCE IN A PREPOSITION!!!

$22,000 and a UCLA grad (2, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529583)

**Yawn**

Someone wake me when it's $1,000,000 and a Stanford grad.

Re:$22,000 and a UCLA grad (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529654)

Because?

rivalries (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529585)

Not to be outdone, a USC student group has requested that students create a list of their most 'awesome' professors.

Re:rivalries (1)

radiotyler (819474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529659)

Instead of paying $100 bucks cash they'd probably do well to give free pizza and beer.

Yeah... (1)

Stupor Man (926173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529586)

Ok, the guy doesn't like some of these "radical" professors and wants to call them out. Show them for what they are, I guess. What's wrong with that? If they are anything like some of the Bozo's I had, I say more power to him. It's a semi-free country. Before someone flames, let me ask this question. Your political views......Do they belong to you because of you, or because some professor taught them to you?

Bias in academia (4, Insightful)

beeplet (735701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529594)

I always find it strange when people accuse academia of unfair bias. When the majority of the best and brightest in the country all lean towards a particular political philosophy, what should that tell you? (Hint: It's not that they were brainwashed and indoctrinated...)

You can argue that academics are too detached from reality, but I think that's wishful thinking from bitter people. All the people I know in academia are well-informed, widely-read, and thoughtful voters. A lot of universities also have many international scholars, which contributes to a wider perspective on politics. They tend to take a less simplified view of things, and to be more open to ideas coming from Europe and elsewhere. And if all that taken together leads one to a more socialist stance, that view should be taken seriously.

Now, if a professor were to mark down a student for expressing a different view (assuming they were able to defend their reasoning), that would be beyond the pale. But the things this group is talking about hardly rises to that level. There's nothing wrong with talking about your opinions in a university class where everyone is assumed to be a rational adult.

Re:Bias in academia (4, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529641)

That statement assumes that those who teach are the best and the brightest...

Re:Bias in academia (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529732)

And your statement assumes that professors actually teach.

Re:Bias in academia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529650)

Um. I'm not so sure about this argument. Just think back to Italy and the facist movement which was _led_ by college students and professors.

Re:Bias in academia (2, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529655)

I always find it strange when people accuse academia of unfair bias. When the majority of the best and brightest in the country all lean towards a particular political philosophy, what should that tell you? (Hint: It's not that they were brainwashed and indoctrinated...)

It probably tells you that they exist in a system that is heavily dependent upon government funding. It probably tells you that they live in a world that is seniority based instead of merit based. They are likely unionized and depend upon strong union laws make them very hard to fire even when they are well past their prime or the institution the worked for has achieved a higher standard and wants to hire better staff.

The best and the brightest are not liberal. Academia tend to liberal. Now, within academia you certainly have some very bright people. You also have some amazingly smart engineers, businessmen, scientist, and economist that are ardently right wing. Arguing that all the smart people are liberals is amazing ignorant.

Re:Bias in academia (5, Interesting)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529718)

"Arguing that all the smart people are liberals is amazing ignorant."

Statistically speaking people with collage educations are more likely to be liberals. Oddly enough the people with passports tend to overwhelmingly liberals. Furthermore a study showed that on average the viewers of the John Stewart show (liberal) were better educated and made more money then the viewers of Bill Oreilly.

I am afraid the facts disagree with you. Sure there are educated conservatives but the majority of people with degrees as liberals by a long shot.

Re:Bias in academia (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529692)

I always find it strange when people accuse academia of unfair bias. When the majority of the best and brightest in the country all lean towards a particular political philosophy, what should that tell you? (Hint: It's not that they were brainwashed and indoctrinated...)

Granted, the majority of those in the liberal arts are, well, liberal, but I've found many (if not most) students in science and engineering tend to be libertarian. I'm wondering what that tells us about the divide between those who pontificate about the future compared to those who actually create it.

Re:Bias in academia (5, Insightful)

localman (111171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529700)

No no! The correct answer is always halfway between the opposing viewpoints! Don't you know that if Jill wants half the cake and Jack wants the whole cake, then the right thing to do is give Jack 3/4? Claiming that one group of people might be right and the others wrong is just unfair!

Cheers.

Re:Bias in academia (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529736)

...what should that tell you?

That perhaps the academic community is too insular? Too cloistered?

Re:Bias in academia (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529742)

When the majority of the best and brightest in the country all lean towards a particular political philosophy, what should that tell you?
Ivory Tower (n). A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life.

That said, it may not tell you if they were, as you say, "brainwashed and indoctrinated", it could certainly indicate unfair hiring practices -- or that those living in the "practical" world are enjoying success and a happy life and wouldn't want to spend their time teaching? There are countless reasons. To point and say "all the smart people think X" is intellectually dishonest -- as most "smart" people DONT think "X" -- but apparently quite a few PROFESSORS do. And IIRC, at some point, most of the "smart" people in the world believed it to be flat -- and I assume we can agree they were wrong...

Lastly, I would like to suggest that most of the "best and brightest in the country" as you put it, are NOT professors. Further, to suggest that because most of them apparently share the same political views somehow VALIDATES those views -- well, this is just a completely fallacious argument.

At last, step 3! (5, Funny)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529599)


At last, we can fill in the missing step!

The Professor's Secret Plan To Wealth

  1. Tell your students to bring tape recorders to your next lecture
  2. Read Marx to them
  3. Tell them you will tell them were they can sell their tapes for $100 if they split it with you.
  4. Profit!

--MarkusQ

You ask, you receive (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529603)

When colleges were paid for primarily by the student or private funds, you KNEW what type of college you were attending. The best schools even had professors who still worked in the industry "Those who can't do, teach" was not really an accurate cliche.

Now we have primarily public funding in college. What do you expect but State-loving socialists instead of true masters of academia? Is college even necessary [lewrockwell.com] if you're to go on to a non-science profession?

One of the few professors I still admire is Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who had something to say [lewrockwell.com] about the system and the garbage bin it has fallen into. I'm not sure we'll see any real changes until we remove the federal funding of education from all education, especially the college grants and loans that the government seems to happy to dole out.

Re:You ask, you receive (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529686)

Now we have primarily public funding in college. What do you expect but State-loving socialists instead of true masters of academia?

First off, is there any evidence that professors are hired or not hired based on their political beliefs, particular whether or not they're "State-loving" (an adjective that describes the majority of Americans, in that they want the government to pay for some things)? If not--and I doubt there is--then the argument that government funding of education leads to "State-loving socialists" falls flat.

Second, you present a false dichotomy. You don't have to be an anarchocapitalist to be a true master of academia.

Re:You ask, you receive (2, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529714)

I'm not sure we'll see any real changes until we remove the federal funding of education from all education, especially the college grants and loans that the government seems to happy to dole out.

We spend money on grants, student loans, and scholarships because education is an investment with a pretty good turnaround.

If Joe wants to work at Jim-Bob's carwash, that's fine, but if Joe doesn't want to and has the potential to be a really good mathematician, I'd hate to see that go to waste because he couldn't fund college.

If you think that eliminating federal education subsidies is likely to produce a better society, I'm interested in what factor you think is more overriding than an educated society.

Re:You ask, you receive (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529734)

"Now we have primarily public funding in college. What do you expect but State-loving socialists instead of true masters of academia?"

Right!. Look at how a republican controlled congress and white has drasitacly cut the size of the govt, slashed budgets and debt, and is running a surplus with a strong dollar.

Oh wait a minute...

Let's out the conservatives too! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529606)

It should be just as easy, and a lot cheaper, to collect a list of
reactionary professors too. Then there will be _two_ meaninless
lists to kick around.

Article description a bit misleading (2, Insightful)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529609)

Here's a bit from the article itself (for those that haven't read it..)

" The Web site of the Bruin Alumni Association also includes a "Dirty Thirty" list of professors considered by the group to be the most extreme left-wing members of the UCLA faculty, as well as profiles on their political activities and writings."

This story was covered a few days ago by one of the local radio programs here. Despite what the slashdot headline says about these guys going after "both sides," in reality it's a conservative witch-hunt... McCarthy would be proud of these clowns. Someone should send them a stuffed jesus doll to cuddle up with at night.

The professors should protest. (0, Offtopic)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529611)

I would like to see the professors stage a protest. But not just a walk-around-with-signs protest.

What I'd like to see them do is find a picture of this fellow's face, and get a fairly large poster of it printed up. They can put it on a stage, facing the audience. Then each and every professor can go up to the photo of this fellow, and urinate on it. Some can even throw their feces on it, if they see fit.

That would be a protest for the ages.

What witchhunt is this? (0)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529616)

The tactics used by Jones and his group are raising quite a few questions, however, offering to pay students for recordings or teaching materials that could provide 'evidence' against professors in question.


Evidence for what exactly? I didn't realize that being of any political bent and speaking about it was illegal in America.... yet. Theoretically, even radical Muslim (or Christian) teachings would be protected by freedom of speech.

Of course, the group doing this is free to publish what they think of the professors as well.

And just like a professor's teachings, it's up to the audience to parse the message, think about it, question it, research it, and whether it causes them to take any action.

Of course, some days, I no longer have faith that the general audience has the patience to logically parse, question, research messages or to poke holes into it for the pros and cons but instead take the lazy route and react emotionally to it.

And things return to normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529625)

as the world revolves around the UCLA student body once again.

/was an instructor there
/and I like slashies

In a postmodern world -- could work (4, Funny)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529626)

I've heard of professors who dress up in period costume. Maybe Political Science 101 should be taught by four professors dressed as Stalin, Hitler, Jefferson and Robert Owen each defending their systems.

In just a nod to modern rationalism, it would nonetheless be nice if there were a fifth professor to provide commentary.

There's something like this on every campus. (1)

psu_whammy (940612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529644)

Somehow, these groups trying to make a watch list think that their actions will make a difference.

What will actually happen is that those on their side will make a really huge deal about this, inflame the people who are just as extreme on the other side, and everyone in the middle will just get sick of it cluttering up the student newspaper.

It's deja vu all over again (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529645)

This is McCarthyism in a shiny new wrapper. Who appointed this guy the radical hall monitor? I had profs in college I thought were assholes, it goes with the territory. Some might have been "liberal", though I'm not sure what that means. Some were just petty and mean. But I survived them all and the only ones we put on any kind of list were the ones with 8 books on their required reading list.

Re:It's deja vu all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529696)

This is McCarthyism in a shiny new wrapper. Who appointed this guy the radical hall monitor?

Where you singing this same tune when ID was at issue? Probably not. It's a different side of the same coin. Face it.

If it's good for one it's good for all.

Yeah! (1, Funny)

labratuk (204918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529652)

Also, I'm outraged that the so-called 'professors' of physics don't give fair coverage of the theories of the time cube [timecube.com] .

Honestly. Professors - what do they know?

I'm the first to admit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529657)

that many professors are very "liberal". They also tend to be very smart people so maybe you should take at least some stock in what they say. Just becuase your conservative or liberal doesn't mean that you are correct in your viewpoint. Facts are facts and I find that more than ever conservatives think they can make up their own then proceed to call those who disagree liberals. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Now if they argued that professors are teaching incorrect information then they might have a valid point. It's all in how you frame the arguement.

Modern day McCarthyism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529661)

Root out the political "radicals".

Is this for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529669)

http://www.bruinalumni.com/ [bruinalumni.com] The sponsoring group's definition of 'radical' seems to Iraq war protestors, or anyone politically on the left. I find it hard to believe we've sunk that far in this nation ... this has to be bullshit, surely God...

Bias does exist, but this is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529677)

Although this guy comes off as a scumbag trying to blacklist liberal faculty members, I do feel bias is a real problem in academia.

It is not uncommon to be in a class and hearing aprofessor bitch about Republicans/Conservatives/Bush...usually in the same way he would talk to his close friends. Also, the assumption is that his gripes are already "understood" by everyone in the class and the professor is just telling you something you already know.

Now, it may be acceptable to talk about such things in a Politics, Philosophy, or Sociology class. Unfortunetly it has happened in about *every* class I have taken. And even in the Politics, Philosophy, or Sociology classes it's less about an honest debate/discussion and more about reinforcing the professor's views.

In high school we had a mandatory assembly pertaining to accepting and tolerating gay people (very progressive high school). My parents called the school and got me excused from it, not because they disagreed with the message but because the school was trying to force its views on the student population. School is for education, not indoctrination.

A school (high school, college, etc) should give you the tools to see the many sides of an issue and decide for yourself, not present the "right" side and then the others to point out how wrong they are.

Its amazing that about 50% of the nation is conservative but almost no professors (out here on the west coast anyway) are. If instead of conservatives it were minorities that were misrepresented, people would be screaming bloody murder.

But yeah, the way this guy is handling this is completly wrong.

Re:Bias does exist, but this is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529731)

When professor's stop bitching about the Republicans/Conservatives/Bush I'm going to start to worry. Considering the contempt of this administration for academia in general, and twisted misrepresentation of science in particular, the anti-Bush/neocon bitching is healthy and well-deserved.

The truth, and libertarian thought (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529689)

The problem here isn't nutral ideaology, it is that the truth is made to be an opinion or subjective, and free will is made to be an irellavent abstract. I don't think I'd have a problem with libertarian biased professors. (though that bias is almost impossible to have in a public funded institution)

Link (2, Informative)

nekdut (74793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529691)

A link to the site in question would help:

http://uclaprofs.com/ [uclaprofs.com]

Not to be confused with the professor review site at http://uclaprofessors.com/ [uclaprofessors.com]

one-sided presentation of ideological controversie (2, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529697)

Uh-oh! I think a whole lot og biology teachers are gonna get pegged for their radical views on the "controversy over evolution".

And Then What? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529699)

So what if they find out a professor is a raging liberal? And then what? Most professors are. Conservative people tend to go into business instead of education because they view capitalism as nervana, so there are less of them in the teaching profession. No news there. These are not the droids you are looking for. Move on.

Worlds 2nd oldest profession (1, Insightful)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529715)

Yay, another Witch Hunt [google.com] to keep track of. Finding people to blame is so much easier than trying to be an example to everyone else. Better yet, claiming to be oppressed is better than actually accomplishing something. Damn, which to be... I'll just claim to be a persecuted persecutor of persecuted people who do bad things (imho - and yours too if I have my way).

Problems and Solutions (4, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529722)

Academia is very biased. Bias is not necessarily a bad thing. It is hard to study a topic for years and not end of taking a stand on it. The issue is when your bias prevents you from teaching people who have a different bias. In 95% of the schools out there, it is completely and utterly impossible to go through the sociology program as a fiscal and/or moral conservative. At best, you will get poor grades, constantly have to defend your every breath, and receive little to no supporting reading material to back up your views. At worst you will be failed multiple times.

My girlfriend is a sociologist. The worst case of abuse I have seen was when she took a class called "Capitalism and the Environment". Every single book and handout that she had was without exception Marxist. How in the hell you can justify teaching a class with the word 'capitalism' in it without reading a single pro-capitalist thinker is utterly beyond me. Not even addressing the opposition is the absolutely most dishonest form of teaching that you can do.

The worst part about this is that it insulates an entire field of thinking from any sort of opposition thinking. A brain dead liberal can make it through the sociology program that my girlfriend made it through. Hell, my girlfriends best friend is sweet, but dumber then a sack full of bricks and made it through with a B. A conservative or libertarian on the other hand would have to fight every single step of the way. Teachers teach nothing but a single side and challenge conservative students every step of the way. I am sure the few conservatives that make it through are as tough as nails, but you shouldn't need an iron will and lead skin to make it through a sociology program.

I am not sure that UCLA's methods are right or effective, but I am glad that they at least acknowledge a problem. A liberal kid should be able to learn economics. A conservative kid should be able to learn sociobiology. Certainly they should be challenged, but they shouldn't have to fight tooth and nail while others float past by simply nodding their heads in agreement with the subjective opinions of their teachers. Liberals have interest in economics and conservative have interest in sociology. It is a travesty that these programs at some school intentionally try and convert or fail the few brave souls willing to cross the lines.

Works for me (4, Insightful)

ellem (147712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529727)

Perfectly Capitaslistic plan to me.

There are a lot of nut job professors... think Churchill [wikipedia.org] Hell when I was at Stony Brook I tangled with some nutjob in Womyn's Studies and almost got throw out of school. Ultimately SUSB saw it my way and they gave me an A a I never went back but I'll bet a lot of kids forced into that class just got bullied or thrown out of it.

Fuck them. Do you job. Don't waste the student's time telling them America is a corrupt regime of facists and that GWB should be impeached for stealing the last 3 elections, and being AWOL, and Katrina, and Plame, and Iraq, and the 9/11 was inside job, yadda fucking yadda. Or that Bill Clinton's Penis (Clenis) is evil and that the Left hates America, is shrill, is on the wrong side of history, is responsible for Wellstone's death, yadda yadda fucking yadda.

You know what? If a professor is doing their job they have nothing to worry about.

Academia RELYS on radical viewpoints (1)

quadbox (567013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529728)

You cannot challenge an existing pre-conception without going outside the bounds of that pre-conception. The whole POINT of academia is to challenge pre-conceptions, and so advance human knowledge. Effectively what this alumni group is saying is that any lecturer who advocates a position not within the status quo should not be allowed to continue.

Research academics use teaching as a sounding board for their ideas. A forum where their ideas may be put forward, challenged. It provides a medium where they are forced to translate their own wild opinions into a form coherent and solid enough that a semi-layperson can understand, and consider the merits of, those opinions.

Should people like canadian author and academic John Ralston Saul then be silenced, not because their views are discredited, but because a certain self-proclaimed "mainstream" doesnt like them?

If a lecturer can be proven WRONG, that's one thing. But to silence them just because you dont agree with them is beyond rediculous

My Rights Online? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14529733)

I think this goes in the Politics section. This has nothing to do with my online rights, or the professors.

Why not come up with a list (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14529741)

...of professors who encourage discussion of all sides of an issue?

Of course, self-proclaimed liberals and conservatives would rather punch someone in the nose than pat them on the back, but perhaps a libertarian group could do something like that.
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