Despite the protests of Colorado elites, the record of the Rocky Mountain state on academic freedom hardly falls in the “Let a hundred flowers bloom” category.
Although the state legislature passed the Academic Bill of Rights, universities there remain overwhelmingly Democratic, at least in the partisan sense, according to every available survey. This breakdown has been in place for decades.
Jerry Martin, who now heads the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, chaired the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1967 to 1982. “I was the only Republican in a 26-member department,” Dr. Martin says.
This political imbalance would not be a problem if professors kept their politics in the faculty lounge. Recently, David Horowitz of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture noted that:
A professor of property law at the University of Colorado told his class that “the R in Republican stands for racist.”
A student was told to write an essay on “Why George Bush is a war criminal.” She got an F after submitting a paper on “Why Saddam Hussein is a war criminal.”
Recently, I came across a want ad for an assistant professor of sociology and human services at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. that seemed to put political considerations right up front as a job requirement. The ad read, “The Department emphasizes a strong commitment to teaching and progressive social change.” At least they gave it second billing.