In "Indoctrination U - The Left's War Against Academic Freedom" (2007), author and academic David Horowitz explores the pervasive influence within most major universities of radical-left professors who, all too often, do not teach but rather engage in a systematic program to impose their views upon their students. Horowitz and his organization's goal is to persuade all universities in America to uphold long-established principles of impartiality and excellence, and to honor academic freedom. He feels that a professor's private political views should be kept out of the classroom (as has been the case until recently), and that courses should be taught with a view towards providing all sides of academic issues so that students are encouraged to think for themselves.
Horowitz' central point is that "students have a right to expect professional (and not political) behavior from their professors in the classroom." To accomplish this objective, Horowitz and his organization have been urging the adoption of a new "Academic Bill of Rights."
Despite the non-radical nature of his proposal, which is very similar to a "Declaration of Principles of Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure" that has been in effect at American universities since 1915, Horowitz and his proposals have been met with vehement opposition and personal vilification by well-entrenched organizations and unions of college professors. Administrators and trustees, perhaps "too busy" with fund-raising and not wanting to make waves, have refused to get involved.
As a result, many individual courses, even entire college curricula, have been designed to further and propagate the views of left-leaning college professors - who, all too often (as Horowitz points out in example after example) regard America as a racist, imperialist country intent on "oppressing" "people of color." They have no respect for opposing points of view, are often not qualified to speak on the issues on which they expound, bring their political views into the classrooms, and castigate, in the most uncivil terms, anyone, whether student or hapless conservative faculty member, who disagrees with their viewpoint and outlook. Guest speakers invited to campuses are, in most cases, chosen for their friendly (read: radical) political persuasions; conservatives are not welcome - and, indeed, professors often encourage students to disrupt the speaking engagements of those few conservatives who are occasionally invited.
The book is both scary and a scathing indictment of what our universities have become - and now these same individuals are spreading their views among high school students. The reaction to Horowitz' criticisms is also troubling; he is attacked personally, his views and proposals are grossly misrepresented, and no tactic is ignored in the extreme left's efforts to discredit Horowitz and his proposals for less bias and more diversity in college education. He is a favorite villain on many extreme liberal blogs, and he is routinely excoriated as a "McCarthyite witch-hunter" who's views are not worthy of consideration.
Here is just one example of the kind of advocacy that's going on in our universities: From the official department website of the Women's Studies Department at University of California at Santa Cruz, on "employment opportunities" for those who major in Women's' Studies: "With a background in women's and minorities' histories and an understanding of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and other forms of oppression, graduates have a good background for work with policy-making and lobbying organizations, research centers, trade and international associations, and unions. Graduates' knowledge about power relationships and injustice often leads them to choose careers in government and politics, because they are determined to use their skills to change the world..."
I was stunned by the examples Horowitz provided regarding the indoctrination and proselytizing that today poses as education in the "halls of higher learning," and the efforts expended by many professors to inculcate their views in their students. Of course America has its faults, just like any other country. However, many of these professors are entirely ashamed of our country, and believe that America is an evil imperialist, trying to exploit "peace-loving Muslims" (and Muslim terrorists are routinely excused as "freedom fighters"). The words "oppression" and "imperialistic" crop up in their speeches and writings repeatedly. The U of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who infamously attacked the victims of 9/11, calling them "little Eichmanns," is but one of many.
This book - and the situation that exists in our universities, as related by Horowitz - delivers a devastating indictment of how our "institutions of higher learning" are being run today. I knew that some of this existed, but was shocked by its pervasiveness and the boldness of those who are pursuing their odd and one-sided agenda. It should be read by every American of every persuasion. Whether your bias is Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, please don't listen to the rantings of the bloggers and do NOT judge Mr. Horowitz until you have read this book.
Westlake Village, CA