Frequent readers at this site are familiar with my disdain for college professors who pontificate rather than teach, coerce rather than inspire, and indoctrinate rather than enlighten. Professors of this ilk are a cancer on the soul of higher education. They undermine its very purpose. My colleague Archie Jones and I were inspired to write our book Liberal Tyranny in Higher Education (www.americanvision.com) by this very phenomenon. My fellow author at this site, John Rissalada, often writes of his verbal duels with leftist bullies passing themselves off as college professors.
Colleges and universities nationwide are experiencing numerous problems—many of their own making—but one thing that is alive and well on most campuses is liberal intolerance. Readers might remember a recent example of this phenomenon: the professor at Florida Atlantic University who instructed students to write the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper ad then throw the paper on the floor and stomp on it. A student who refused was suspended—a clear violation of his First Amendment rights and the concept of academic freedom. University officials quelled the controversy somewhat by claiming the professor had been removed from the classroom. He had, but not for disciplinary reasons. He was removed for his own protection as the result of death threats.
Not surprisingly, university officials responded to public outrage in a predictable manner: they removed the offending professor from the classroom just long enough to allow the controversy to die down. Now that the media glare is focused elsewhere, Dr. Deandre Poole is back in the classroom purporting to “teach” his intercultural communications class. Is he any less a leftist bully for the experience? Don’t count on it. One of the reasons people like Dr. Poole go into higher education is that colleges and universities allow them to espouse, advocate, indoctrinate, and pontificate without fear of repercussion. The fact that they are paid to teach, guide, instruct, and develop has no bearing on matters. Tenure affords them better protection than a concrete bomb shelter.
No nation pays more for its colleges and universities than America, and the price we pay is exacted in more ways than just tax dollars and tuition. We pay an even higher price by putting our best and brightest young people under the tutelage of professors who hate everything America stands for and are determined to tear our country down one student at a time. Unfortunately, they are succeeding.
In our book Liberal Tyranny in Higher Education, we quote David Horowitz on the purposes of higher education: “The central purposes…are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to society at large. Free inquiry and free speech within the academic community are indispensable to the achievement of these goals.”
This is about as good a summary of the purposes of higher education as you will find anywhere. It does not say that liberal professors with nefarious agendas cannot state their misguided views on the issues of the day, but it does say that students should also get ample opportunities to state their views without fear of retribution of any kind. In fact, it goes even further. Students should be encouraged to think critically, disagree openly, and state views that are irretrievably at odds with those of the professor. Free speech and free inquiry are part of a concept known as academic freedom. This concept is the cornerstone of higher education. Professors who violate the First Amendment and academic freedom or who apply the concept as if it were a one-way street should be more properly referred to as “suppressors” rather than professors. They should be stripped of their tenure and shown the door.