Distance learners beware. If you sign up for “United States History II: 1865 to Present” with Mary Buggie-Hunt, you may get a perspective on America’s past that you had not bargained for.
Although the course may sound like an innocuously foundational class, the instructor, Ms. Hunt, prides herself on being cutting-edge. Ms. Hunt teaches an online version of the course that the University of Southern New Hampshire offers.
Ms. Hunt is also a member of Historians Against the War. She gives presentations at colleges that Civil War buffs and World War II devotees alike might find a bit off the beaten track.
- At the University of Albany in New York’s state capital, Ms. Hunt gave a talk entitled “Out in the Valley: The Gay Liberation Movement in the Genessee Valley, 1968-1974.”
- Last year, at the University of Buffalo, Ms. Hunt delivered a lecture which she labeled “Planet Hate: The Internet and the Promotion of Anti-Gay Ideologies.”
A professor in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Ms. Hunt has taught at both SUNY-Brockport and Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester. At the latter school, her decidedly liberal views are very much a match for the visibly left-wing campus.
In its monthly newsletter, Campus Report, Accuracy in Academia ran a photo spread last year that showed just how visible the college’s political liberalism is and how illiberally the school treats opposing views. During the presidential campaign, Kerry bumper stickers at MCC adorned the doors of most members of the political science department. But when Professor Michael Filozof placed an American flag bumper sticker on his door that read, “I support President Bush and U. S. troops,” the decoration led to his dismissal from a tenure-track position at MCC.
Dr. Filozof’s reviews on ratemyprofessor.com make for interesting reading, especially when they are compared to Ms. Hunt’s. “The best political science teacher I have ever had,” one reviewer wrote, “Well balanced and told both sides of the story in an energetic fashion.”
“If MCC lets this teacher go, [it] will be making the biggest mistake in SUNY history,” the reviewer continued, “We need young, educated teachers like him around.”
Obviously, MCC did not heed that student’s warning. The reviewers at ratemyprofessor.com rate their classroom memories anonymously. Nonetheless, the reviews on SUNY employee Mary Buggie-Hunt make a fairly stark contrast to those of Professor Filozof, a SUNY casualty.
“Brings her politics into class and judges her students too much,” one reviewer noted, “indoctrinates students and gets off topic often.”
“Not good at teaching, she’s really just there to promote her agenda and doesn’t care about the lessons,” read another student’s judgment. “Not worth your money.”
“Read a book.”
If her students at MCC delivered negative verdicts on Ms. Hunt’s pedagogical approach, their observations look like valentines when compared with the notes made by her pupils at SUNY-Brockport.
“Ignorant DNC chatterbox,” one student from SUNY-Brockport concluded. “If you are at all intelligent, either steer clear of this class or forget everything she says.”
Perhaps one of the more chilling warnings came from one of her more favorable reviews. “Guys, steer clear of this class!,” the reviewer warned, explaining, “She is a feminist who does not take well to men.” But this veteran of Ms. Hunt’s women’s studies class does offer some hope to the ladies:
“Girls, get past the intimidation, and you will have no problem.”
Of course, a truly diverse campus could accommodate both Professor Filozof and Ms. Hunt. Both SUNY and MCC, following a nationwide trend in colleges and universities, made their choice. Ms. Hunt is still listed on the MCC directory while Professor Filozof is not. The latter is suing his old employer for what he understandably sees as an unjustified double standard on academic freedom.