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Academic Freedom ‘Under Siege’?

A professor from the State University of New York, Buffalo says the American professoriate and academic freedoms are under attack from various right-wing organizations.

Professor Lionel S. Lewis, author of "The Cold War and Academic Governance: The Lattimore Case at Johns Hopkins’ wrote an opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun detailing how “harassment of academics based on their political views has begun to exact a toll on campus life.”

Great!

Lewis writes, “Suspicion and distrust, always a part of campus culture, have been exacerbated. The number of grievances and lawsuits on campuses has grown exponentially. American campuses are under siege just as they were during the McCarthy era. …Then, as now, the political bounties on some professors have had a chilling effect on all campuses.”

He then goes on to cite incidents where liberal professors were punished or harassed for their beliefs. Lewis recalls the story of a Columbia University professor who said at a "teach-in" he wished the Iraq war would involve "a million Mogadishus," and was then “publicly chastised by the university president and provost.”

Thank you, Professor Lewis, for pointing-out this specific case. It’s a great example of the anti-American rhetoric being taught to our nation’s youth. What’s even more telling is that Lewis cites uses the story as an example of harassment – as if academics shouldn’t be held accountable for what their espousing.

How dare we actually challenge these professors’ views! Surely they’re not trying to impose their personal political beliefs on the student body. They’re just trying to foster debate and discussion. Right?

Yes, we live in America, and professors have the constitutional right to say whatever they like, and they have a right to academic freedom; however, organizations like Human Events U and the Network of College Conservatives are not contesting free speech as much as we are challenging inappropriate speech. While professors are to afford their students a well-rounded education through perspective and insight, it does not mean they have carte blanche when it comes to influencing the minds of our nation’s youth.

The power to educate carries with it a tremendous amount of responsibility. And, unfortunately, so many teachers, instructors, professors and administrators abuse their positions of power and influence and prey on young minds.

Professor Lewis concludes his piece with the following statement: “In truth, the American campus is a healthy mix of different opinions, cultures and viewpoints. I hope that it will remain so, despite those who would impose political bounties on anyone — professor or student — who might wish to pursue ideas and speak their mind.”

I wish American campuses contained a “healthy mix of different opinions, cultures and viewpoints.” And, in truth, I wish students received the unbiased, well-rounded education they pay for and deserve. I wish organization like Human Events U and the Network of College Conservatives weren’t needed. But, sadly, leftwing radicals, who have made their homes on college campuses, stifle education and push their political agendas upon an impressionable audience. So, the fight will continue and leftwing indoctrinators will be exposed.

Who will win this battle for academia? That’s up to those who pay the tuition bills. The American public can decide whether or not they want to reward educational institutions that teach one-sided arguments.

Written By

Mr. Flickinger is the "dean" of Human Events U and founder of the Network of Campus Conservatives. He is a native of Pittsburgh, who graduated from Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism with specializations in political science and economics.

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