Colorado’s Conservative: Conservatives Weigh In

Was the recent hiring of conservative Steven Hayward by the University of Colorado a good thing for conservatism?

Minding the Campus offers a helpful collection of opinions from a variety of higher-education thinkers about the meanings of CU’s move.

As we might expect, the collection demonstrates a wide variety of conclusions.  Many of the contributors, though, condemn the move as an example of illiberal liberalism.  That is, hiring one exemplary conservative simply exacerbates the problem.  Higher education, some argue, has already degraded into a mere culture-war shouting match.  This wrong-headed move only adds one more shouter to the arena.


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  1. I’ve been following the discussion about conservatives in academia on your blog for some time. As I understand the argument, it is this:

    Conservatives have noted that a majority of professors, and a large number of graduates, have left-leaning views. I’ll accept this observation; it matches my experience.

    They also note that it can be difficult to get conservative views heard in such institutions. I’ll take their word for this.

    The conclusion that some have come to is that universities indoctrinate left-wing views.

    Do American universities really push political views in their classes? I’d be shocked if that were true. I agree with Daphne Patai. I think university level education should be taught, as far as possible, without agenda. Students should engage with all ideas critically, and professors should challenge them to do that.

    This is what I believe happens in a majority of cases. I therefore take it that, if students are graduating with liberal views, it is because conservative views did not make sense to them when critically analysed. I take it that this is true for many people, hence the preponderance of liberal professors.

    If universities are peddling an agenda, it should stop, but I doubt that they are. However, one could question how well an exclusively liberal teaching staff can encourage students to consider conservative ideas. They might be unintentionally biasing students. If that were true, maybe some conservative faculty members would help students to consider other viewpoints.

    But I am skeptical. In my experience, the voices arguing that universities are pushing a liberal agenda also claim that America’s public schools ‘indoctrinate’ feminism, evolutionism, secular-humanism, relativism, socialism, and sexual promiscuity. Such outlandish claims lessen the speaker’s credibility, in my view.

  2. Liberal indoctrination is an attack on our culture occuring on many levels besides formal education. My interest is science fiction, where books and movies tell tales of failed ecosystems, U.N. type governemtns, anti-miltiary rhetoric, evil corporations, and apocalyptic America dominate. Science fiction has been mostly abandoned to liberals, and I don’t see us taking the genre back, soon.

  3. Yes, but notice how old that list is. Conservative science fiction is mostly by authors long dead.

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