Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update: The right's war on universities

While Sen. Rick Santorum was congratulating himself on being “restrained” and not attacking universities who employ some professors who disagree with him, the South Dakota House of Representatives was moving forward to pass a law to impose the thought police on state colleges.

Right-wing politicians declare that they’re attempting to bring “diversity” to academia, yet I’m old enough to remember when liberals felt like they were the minority on college campuses. I don’t remember any calls from Republicans back then for diversity on college campuses. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Phyllis M. Heineman, a Republican, and it sounds harmless. However, I can't see how it wouldn't be chilling to professors who feel they are being attacked for being too progressive. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
The bill "basically says that we as a legislature, we value intellectual diversity for our students and faculty, and it asks for a report to tell us howwe're accomplishing that," Ms. Heineman said during debate on the House floor.

A state higher-education official, however, criticized the legislation soon after it passed.

"Unfortunately, it sends the message to the higher-education community that
there are problems in South Dakota that need political intrusion to solve," said Robert T. (Tad) Perry, executive director of the South Dakota Board of Regents.

"Nothing could be farther from the truth."

No comments: