Campus Blues

, Christine Inauen and Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

In his study, “Deep Blue Campuses,” Daniel Flynn, director of Leadership Institute’s Campus Leadership programs, exposes what many conservatives already understand: the liberal political bias present on college campuses. Backed up with numerous specific examples, Flynn’s piece uniquely takes care to counter the generic argument that conservatives are using “cherry-picked examples” to fabricate a liberal bias in academia. Flynn is the former executive director of Accuracy in Academia.

“Deep Blue Campuses” stresses the importance of understanding that incidences of liberal indoctrination are by no means merely the occasional, isolated Ward Churchill, but form the nucleus of an overall political bias in academia. For his study, Flynn obtained records of political contributions given by employees of the top 25 national universities, as ranked according to U.S. News and World Report in 2004, and compared the number of employees who contributed to the Bush campaign versus the Kerry campaign. Their donations went to the Democratic standard bearer by an overwhelming margin. Flynn proves, consistent with existing data, that liberals are disproportionately represented on campus.

The search for truth is the longstanding mission of higher education. When one side of the debate is silenced, finding the truth becomes more difficult. If institutions embraced intellectual diversity in the way they have embraced racial diversity they would be much more likely to foster debate, and thus, aid the search for truth.

The author of the book Why the Left Hates America, Flynn supports the statistical data with shocking, real world examples of liberal bias. His second book, Intellectual Morons, sharply examines academic icons such as Noam Chomsky. In “Deep Blue Campuses” he sites the following examples of terrorists turned career academics:

  • Bill Ayers bombed the Pentagon in 1972. Now he’s the Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
  • Bernadine Dohrn, a terrorist who romanticized the Manson Family, reacted to the 1969 Helter Skelter slayings by remarking: “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach! Wild!” Dohrn is now a professor at Northwestern University and gave the 2004 commencement address at Pitzer College.
  • Weather Underground leader Mark Rudd bombed banks, police stations, and university buildings in the 1970s. Today he teaches at a college in New Mexico.

Flynn also sites examples of what has become a relatively common occurrence on college campuses—ideologically-based courses. Many of these are offered at prestigious institutions, and many assign activism for credit. Flynn cites just a few examples of these courses: the University of Michigan’s “How to Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation,” Amherst College’s “Taking Marx Seriously,” and the University of North Carolina’s “Environmental Advocacy.”

Campuses are alienated from the mainstream, doing no service to students who are trying to receive the education for which they are paying tens of thousands of dollars. Flynn urges self-education through sites such as by students, parents, and alumni alike so that they are able to make educated decisions regarding what institutions they choose to support with their money.

A rising sophomore at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, Christine Inauen is an intern at Accuracy in Academia.