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Tennessee lawmaker calls for removal of higher education

Janie
September 9, 2019

Damn liberals, ruin everything!

Tennessee lawmaker calls for removal of higher education

A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he supports getting rid of higher education because he argues it would cut off the “liberal breeding ground.”

Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield called for eliminating higher education while speaking about attending a recent abortion legislative hearing on his conservative radio talk show on Sept. 2.

Roberts specifically called out one activist who testified in favor of protecting abortion rights. He asserted without evidence that the woman’s beliefs were a “product of higher education” and claimed that getting rid of higher education would “save America.”

The senator did not immediately respond to a request for further elaboration.

Roberts also questioned funding higher education with tax dollars. He voted in favor of the state’s $38.5 billion budget earlier this year, which included money for colleges and universities.

Comments (110)

  • HU9999

    Roberts complained about words such as white supremacy being used by liberals. He complained about other words too but it does seem as if they don’t want to be called out for their extremist actions by saying it is the liberals who are extreme.

    The exact tactic we see used here all the time. It's illogical and they cannot understand why their argument fails.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    ubro's point needs to be emphasized. That College Fix "poll" is everything a valid survey or poll should NOT be--if it wants to be considered valid. First of all, a valid poll reports on how it selected the persons taking the poll. This poll does not. In fact, the implication is that it was a self-selected online poll--the least reliable selection method. Secondly, unless non-Republicans of various kinds were also included, there is no way to conclude that only or mostly Republican students encounter the reported negative receptions.

    Of the examples of complaints given in the article (and reprinted here), there is no evidence to back up the students' complaints. Here is the opening paragraph of the article:

    "A survey of 1,000 Republican and Republican-leaning college students has found that nearly three-quarters of them have withheld their political views in class for fear their grades would suffer."

    That statement may indicate accurately how they "feel," but it doesn't establish that any teacher actually graded them down due to their political views. For all we know, those students may just be paranoid. A surprising number of students (of all persuasions) worry about the same thing even though they have no reason to know it is true. I've also heard students, after reading the comments on a paper stating why they got a lower grade, dismiss the explanation and say to the person next to them that "the professor doesn't like me." They evidently would prefer to think that rather than admit their paper was disorganized or lacked evidence or something that indicates they were at fault and not the teacher.

    I could make some other observations, but I'll end instead just by noting that the "cherry-picked" method of listing is not particularly convincing. I'd still want to know "the other half" of the story before I drew any final conclusions.

    The article in question is political propaganda, not a valid report on a valid poll. A professor could assign a paper of political propaganda, I suppose, in which case it might fair quite well, but I really doubt that most professors make that kind of assignment outside of a political science class--and probably not there either.

    Kate

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  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    I'll take that as a no, elvis. I tried to understand, but I'll take your lack of answer to be unable to justify backing the rogue idiot who finds higher education threatening.


    _____________

    If we're talking anecdotal self reporting, my son is a moderate conservative living in an alt-right community attending a state school full of alt right kids. He and I both know he'll be excoriated if he ever divulged his true political views there. Not all schools have a liberal bias.

  • margaux

    Maybe the right is looking in the wrong place to fix this problem, maybe they should start with the kindergarten class. Have a ' it's mine and you can't have it' circle where they keep their own stuff and fight off all other takers, or a sing along ' suck up and buck up' or how about a ' you are different so you don't belong' parade.

    But those are conservative values! What's wrong with that?? ;)

    This goes both ways. You want your views heard but you wouldn't grant the same to a liberal view in a learning institution where conservatives are the majority. You only have to look at the most conservative of institutions, the evangelical church, to see that's true. The beliefs of other Christians, other religions, and atheists are seen as a threat to their teachings.

    I'll bet that what conservatives really want are their tax dollars to fund private colleges so that there's a conservative choice of where they can send their kids. They raised their kids in private Christian schools that some feel should receive government funding, and now they want them to continue their college education in that same environment. It would actually be a lot easier to fund it than to try to change the "liberal" environment on campuses. That's not changing, and Trumpism will never be welcomed on campus because it's seen as a white nationalist movement at its core.

    It’s time for conservatives –whose taxpayer dollars significantly fund these institutions of higher education – to rise up and demand the restoration of balance in our halls of higher education. ...

  • mudhouse

    ubro: College fix website---The first Google hit states---"your daily dose of right minded news", not exactly non bias.I am not sure I would actually take these people seriously. They ran a poll that verified the position they already hold, and found people or professors who have acted badly to prove their point, how interesting.

    Of course I agree, College Fix has a right bias, and that's exactly why I started my comment with this:

    The College Fix website hired College Pulse (featured in publications including Vox, Business Insider, Politico, Newsweek) to do the survey for them.

    I do apologize though, because originally I had the College Pulse website linked to their name, and I didn't realize I lost the link during the cut/paste I did to get paste the current editing glitch. I knew that bias would be a concern, of course, as it should be when anybody lists a survey or poll, so my intent was to make that as clear as possible.

    https://collegepulse.com/

    The College Fix website (right leaning) did not "run the poll" at all. They hired a company that's in the business of surveying college students on a range of topics. I researched College Pulse (the survey company) and could find absolutely no indication they have a bias of any kind. Can you? Maybe I missed it, but I could not.

    I don't think College Pulse is biased, and I don't think the other survey topics listed on their website indicate a bias. I don't rule out the results of their survey based on that concern.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    Most leading brands don’t fully understand college students as effectively as they could,” said College Pulse CEO Klein. “Our vision is to provide the most reliable, up-to-date insights into what college students think about brands, hiring, purchasing and social opinions.” https://www.nhbr.com/college-pulse-gets-1-5-million-in-seed-funding/

    It is a marketing tool--"into what college students think." Well, at least what "some" college students think--which is to say, their personal opinions.

    It does not establish that Republican students are actually treated unfairly on campus.

    Those of you looking for environments more receptive to your Republican viewpoint, try some of the colleges in Oklahoma or Kansas. Quite conservative, I assure you.

    Kate

  • mudhouse

    That should have read:

    "the cut/paste I did to get past the current editing glitch." Not "paste the current editing glitch."

    Ironic, eh? Lol.



  • Kathy

    Right wing students surveyed by a right wing student paper publishes Right wing opinions. What could be biased about that?

  • Chi

    Yeah I noticed they didn't post any comments from the 30% who didn't feel they were punished for their opinions.

    I also noticed a LOT of assumptions. They didn't share their opinions because they just knew they would be failed! Sounds like typical anti-liberal bias to me. Playing the victim based on assumptions.

  • Chi

    It's normal for teachers to challenge student opinions to allow for critical thinking and discussion. If these students go into it believing they are already a victim of liberal teachers, perhaps they take the challenges as personal insults against their conservative values.

  • mudhouse

    Most leading brands don’t fully understand college students as
    effectively as they could,” said College Pulse CEO Klein. “Our vision is
    to provide the most reliable, up-to-date insights into what college
    students think about brands, hiring, purchasing and social opinions.”
    https://www.nhbr.com/college-pulse-gets-1-5-million-in-seed-funding/

    (Edited to ask a question instead of making a statement, since people feel I'm being unclear in this thread.)

    Where is the bias in this statement?

    The comments reflect the actual opinions of actual college students. The fact that some don't like those opinions has nothing to do with the credibility of the company that was paid to conduct the survey.

  • Kathy

    The survey might have asked the questions but the ones published in the paper only served to confirm the conservative beliefs.

  • mudhouse

    Chi: It's normal for teachers to challenge student opinions to allow for
    critical thinking and discussion. If these students go into it
    believing they are already a victim of liberal teachers, perhaps they
    take the challenges as personal insults against their conservative
    values.

    I'd agree that this could certainly be a factor, in some cases; that's reasonable to assume. I don't think it explains the large percentages in the survey results, personally.

  • Kathy

    Koch brothers donated millions to FAU on the condition they could approve faculty hiring conservatives. That means professors were hired for political beliefs rather than academic excellence.

  • elvis

    HU9999

    The difference is you just say it. With nothing to back it up. Ubro provided supporting info for her opinion.

    No offense to ubro, but she used more opinion, by way of her own suggestions, to support her opinon. She didn't use "supporting info". But don't use ubro. What do you think, "HU9999"?

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    "Where is the bias in this statement?

    The comments reflect the actual opinions of actual college student"

    No one is saying the comments do NOT reflect the actual opinions of actual college students. That is NOT the point being made. What's at issue is how reflective that group of responders are of the student body in general. Is it a representative sample--representative of the entire student body, or is it just representative of those who bothered to respond? You are acting as though it correctly mirrors the student body as a whole or the Republican students as a whole, but nothing in the survey makes that claim. For all we know, there may be several thousand students who did NOT answer the survey/poll, but if they had, they may have had only positive things to say--which would have changed the results completely.

    Self-identified online surveys are rather notorious for NOT reflecting the larger group of the students (who did not answer the poll). This kind of survey appeals to the dissatisfied Republican student who, self-selecting, is thus motivated to answer the poll. Satisfied Republican and other types of students are usually greatly under-represented--they aren't motivated to select themselves for the survey.

    Compiling the sample of persons to take the survey/poll is much more complicated since a lot of data must be compiled to ensure the the responders include accurate percentages of the larger pool being surveyed. In this case, the responses reflect only themselves--not the larger pool of college students.

    Kate

  • margaux

    There has been a shift in how Republicans view a college education since 2015. Why then?

    The share of Americans saying colleges and universities have a negative effect has increased by 12 percentage points since 2012. The increase in negative views has come almost entirely from Republicans and independents who lean Republican. From 2015 to 2019, the share saying colleges have a negative effect on the country went from 37% to 59% among this group. Over that same period, the views of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic have remained largely stable and overwhelmingly positive.

    Democrats who see problems with the higher education system cite rising costs more often than other factors as a major reason for their concern, while Republicans are just as likely to point to other issues as reasons for their discontent. Roughly eight-in-ten Republicans (79%) say professors bringing their political and social views into the classroom is a major reason why the higher education system is headed in the wrong direction (only 17% of Democrats say the same). And three-quarters of Republicans (vs. 31% of Democrats) point to too much concern about protecting students from views they might find offensive as a major reason for their views. In addition, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say students not getting the skills they need to succeed in the workplace is a major reason why the higher education system is headed in the wrong direction (73% vs. 56%).

    There are significant age gaps among Republicans in these views. Older Republicans are much more likely than their younger counterparts to point to ideological factors, such as professors bringing their views into the classroom and too much concern about political correctness on campus. For example, 96% of Republicans ages 65 and older who think higher education is headed in the wrong direction say professors bringing their views into the classroom is a major reason for this. Only 58% of Republicans ages 18 to 34 share that view.

    I think the reason is right there: almost 100% of older Republicans believe that college campuses are a den of liberalism. Where do they get that idea when they're not even in a classroom? Hint: What is the demographic for FOX News?

    https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/essay/the-growing-partisan-divide-in-views-of-higher-education/

  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    “Where do they get that idea when they're not even in a classroom?”

    They get that idea from the fact that their kids and grandkids go off to college and come back with “wild” new ideas like gay people aren’t bad and people of colour have it pretty rough and women have a brain.

    That’s just from my own experience with FOX viewing and non-FOX viewing older conservatives.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    Why the big downward shift among Repubs. in 2015--towards the end of Obama's 2nd term?

    I can easily imagine the Repub Party sending out the word for all good Repubs to bad-mouth higher education, but I've never heard that is what happened, nor does it explain WHY they would do that in 2015.

    Just curious.

    Kate

  • gyr_falcon

    margaux, thanks for posting that information. That is a stark change. Where do they get that idea indeed, plus what miss lindsey said.

  • margaux

    RW media--where they are spoon-fed their opinions. Same as the imaginary "War on Christmas". They never experienced it but Bill O told them it was happening.

    You could do a search on FOX and see if they started pushing the idea of biased colleges around Obama's second term.

  • patriciae_gw

    I would like to take a moment and point out that the canceling of Ultra Right wing speakers on campus due to rabid protesting by lefties is not indicative of Universities being pro liberal. It is a disinclination by University administrations to have to explain to outraged parents why their kid was injured in some sort of mele. It means energized students are making their viewpoints heard which you would think would be sufficient to the occasion.

    I also think Marqaux is on to something, it is about the money. It is always about the money.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    It's so much about the money that it's why my post said what it did. Leave the funding in place, with no obstacles except for the grade parameters. We all know it's about the money. They want to line more fat cat pockets and keep the masses in their place.

  • Delilah66

    when they believe they are entitled to be the ones in control and calling the
    shots.”

    Au contraire, mon frere. I just don’t want liars in control pushing their personal agendas.

    “None of the experiences of these students surprises me in the least. ”

    The College Fix is right wing biased ”designed "to groom young conservatives for careers in the news media by placing college students in internships with right-leaning publications."”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_College_Fix

  • studio10001

    There is some irony here, I think.

    If we assume that universities discriminate against a balance of conservative opinion, it would stand to reason that conservative voices would never be invited to speak, rather than invited by universities, but subsequently shunned by students. The added assumption that universities, or even liberal arts programs, are responsible for brain washing is further eroded by the existence of their conservative students - who, rather than showing symptoms of being brain washed, are speaking up and complaining about the reaction to their arguments. Their complaints may certainly be seen to defend the notion of a grievance culture, but I think it important to note that Kronman's article discusses this culture as an import to campuses - just as it is in many communities today. I suggest that social media is the greater incubator for such groupthink to evolve in -without the prerequisite of critical analysis that is the focus of most universities.

    All of modern society is geared toward bending the thought of others via advertising, social interaction, the internet, group memberships - bias develops regardless of balance. Further, the assumption of imbalance, according to Kronman, isn't between opposing views, but one of victimized groupthink obscuring open conversation altogether. " A corollary is that I am not entitled to call something true merely because I believe or feel it to be true. My beliefs and feelings are not trumps that I can play in a debate about the truth of any claim. It wrecks the Socratic adventure to say that as a (female, black, Jewish, Muslim, gay or trans person—fill in the blank) I see things from a point of view to which others have no access and that my perspective is authoritative because I have been the victim of hatred and mistreatment."


  • margaux

    Also, many liberal beliefs are becoming more mainstream, not less, as polling on a variety of issues shows. I don't see the same happening with conservative beliefs. It isn't the colleges' fault that your message isn't reaching the people, especially the youth--the problem is your message.

  • studio10001

    ETA Where universities appear to be failing is in not disputing the use of political outlines as substitutes for valid positions from its students.

  • gyr_falcon

    Au contraire, mon frere. I just don’t want liars in control pushing their personal agendas.

    Not sure I understand your au contraire. You don't think conservatives want to be in control of what is taught in colleges and you think the current professors are liars pushing agendas?

  • ubro

    They get that idea from the fact that their kids and grandkids go off to college and come back with “wild” new ideas like gay people aren’t bad and people of colour have it pretty rough and women have a brain.

    That, IMO, is the crux of the matter. They send their kids off and get back children who now question their point of view.

    These are young adults who form opinions for themselves, assuming that somehow they have been 'brainwashed' is insulting their intelligence.

    I know this is ancedotal, but my 3 children went to very liberal university and college and 2 of the 3 are way more conservative minded than myself. My nieces on the other hand became more liberal minded than their conservative parents.

    Let the colleges be, let them teach, and stop being so paranoid, they will produce a generation of kind, helpful and well rounded adults, instead of just parrots of their parent's views.

    I would like to know what Conservatives views in particular the right would like taught in University, and what Liberal views are being taught that they disagree with.

  • mudhouse

    studio10001: The added assumption that universities, or even liberal arts programs, are responsible for brain washing is further eroded by the existence of their conservative students - who, rather than showing symptoms of being brain washed, are speaking up and complaining about the reaction to their arguments.

    No; I don't agree that the existence of students in the population who remain unwilling to abandon their individual viewpoints (not shared by liberal faculty) indicates that there's no pressure on them to do so.

    The point of the survey was to determine if students who identified themselves as Republicans had withheld political views in class for fear their grades would suffer. 73% said yes.

    If we assume that universities discriminate against a balance of conservative opinion, it would stand to reason that conservative voices would never be invited to speak, rather than invited by universities, but subsequently shunned by students.

    If you mean that universities themselves (faculty and administration) have played no role in discouraging conservative speakers, I disagree. It's been well documented that administrations frequently assign higher "security fees" for conservative events, often requiring the speakers to cover those in advance. Some of these fees have lead to court cases. And it's been documented that some faculty members encouraged students to protest conservative speakers in order to gain extra class credit. The articles are there to read, if you care to search.

    I agree that Kronman is addressing the role that victimized groupthink plays in preventing true learning and free inquiry on campus. That victimized groupthink is actually actively fostered by some (certainly not all) university faculty and administrations; it's not only incubated in social media.

  • Ziemia

    Anyone find one of those actual assignments by a conservative that was marked down by some liberal prof?

    (I've seen papers where the college student claimed unfair biased treatment - but the answer to my 1st question showed the student to be at fault.)

    These claims would be more believable with examples of actual work.

  • ubro

    It isn't the colleges' fault that your message isn't reaching the people, especially the youth--the problem is your message.

    So true, we spend our lives as parents teaching our children to be kind and good, to share, to help, to not be judgemental, to put others before ourselves, and then in college, all of a sudden we don't want them to expand those values?


  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    “The point of the survey was to determine if students who identified themselves as Republicans had withheld political views in class for fear their grades would suffer. 73% said yes.”

    Ok. But that doesn’t mean their fear is founded on reality.

    My conservative parents taught me to have the courage of my convictions.

    And I never thought my grades would suffer because of my political opinions because I was also taught to have faith in humanity and taught how to assert myself when treated unjustly.

    Sounds like the people surveyed missed those lessons somehow.

  • bob_cville

    Even if CollegePulse is considered to be unbiased, it is perfectly possible to take the results of a "unbiased" survey, and interpret and cherry-pick the results in a biased manner to present the slanted viewpoint that you are trying to get across.

    As far as the specific examples presented most of them are the merely opinion of the student that the teacher would be biased or hearsay evidence that a given teacher is biased, or a post hoc ergo propter hoc rationalization of "i said this, and after that I got a bad grade, therefore the bad grade must be because I said that" The bad grade may be entirely deserved by the quality of the work.

    In this one:

    • Arizona State: In my sociology class, my professor asked us if
    we would give our child hormone blockers if they believed they were
    transgender (that was the day’s lesson). One guy said he would rather
    teach his daughter to love her body the way it is than change it. She
    [sat] straight up said “so you would be a bad parent then? What was your
    name again?” Then she went to type something on her computer. Not a
    good day for him, I’m sure.

    The teacher may have been doing a sociological experiment in class, and may have simply pretended to enter something into her computer.

    • Clemson: When writing papers for gen ed classes? Absolutely. I
    know a guy who chose to write a pro-border wall argumentative essay for
    our super liberal professor and the prof just wrote “this whole paper is
    one big fallacy” and bombed him. Me? I wrote about the evils of horse
    racing. Perfectly safe topic.

    It may well be that the entire underpinnings of the paper were in fact false. Much of what is bandied about in support of the border wall, is simply false, irrespective of how many times its repeated on Fox News.

    • Oklahoma State: Super liberal government teacher who only showed Robert Reich documentaries. Wasn’t gonna speak my opinion around there.

    What was the stated topic of the class? The documentaries may have been entirely appropriate. Was the student expecting the class would cover and praise a different Reich?

    • Penn State: “Well I actually have some different thoughts on
    that.” “Shut up you racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic piece of
    human garbage!”

    This one, presented out-of-context, does seem especially egregious, however if it were presented with what the the student had been saying prior to that outburst, I might agree with the sentiment expressed, if not the exact manner of presentation.

    I sometimes think something similar in regards to posts that are made here.


    margaux wrote:

    I'll bet that what conservatives really want are their tax dollars to
    fund private colleges so that there's a conservative choice of where
    they can send their kids.

    I'd counter what conservatives really want are their tax dollars to
    only fund conservative leaning colleges, and for the rest to be shuttered. They could tout it as a conservative arts education, and offer classes like:

    Economics 100 : "Trickle down theory, maybe this time it will actually work"

    Biology 200: "Life, 8000 years in the making"

    Comparative Religion : "We're right, everyone else is wrong. class dismissed. "

  • margaux

    I would like to know what Conservatives views in particular the right would like taught in University, and what Liberal views are being taught that they disagree with.

    So would I, ubro.

    Right-wing messaging on gun control that says we need to arm ourselves against a tyrannical government is not going to sell well to students worried about whether it's safe to even go to class because anybody can get a gun today.

  • mudhouse

    ubro, unlike some here, I rarely mind anecdotal comments. I think that's a big part of how we form our individual opinions; they don't bother me a bit.

    ********************************************
    This excerpt from a recent article explains how Kronman was influenced by his own personal experience:

    https://nypost.com/2019/08/31/how-college-students-today-go-against-everything-universities-stand-for/

    His own university, Yale, was convulsed by a social-justice frenzy in 2015 after professor Erika Christakis wrote a gentle letter to students about, of all things, Halloween costumes.

    “She said, I thought pretty modestly, that if you are offended by something you see, you should tell the person what bothers you and why,” Kronman remembered. “And if that does not give you satisfaction, you have the freedom to walk away. You know, ‘Hey folks, you’re grown-ups.’ ”


    ...“It made some of the students profoundly angry. I was astounded,” said Kronman, who was the Sterling Professor of Law at the time, a position he still holds today.

    A large group of shouting, weeping students publicly berated the professor’s husband, Nicholas, another faculty member. “You are not listening. You are disgusting,” one shouted at him when he refused to agree that his wife’s opinion was tantamount to racism. The confrontation immediately went viral.

    “I thought, I really don’t recognize what’s going on here,” Kronman said.


    The professor cited one of Kronman’s central points as he attempted to respond.
    “He said that of course no one at Yale should hurt you deliberately,” Kronman said. “But the danger of being rubbed the wrong way is just part of college life and is, in fact, what you have come here to receive.”

    But the students rejected that idea out of hand, setting off weeks of campus unrest that ended in the resignations of both professors from their positions.

    The incident shook Kronman deeply.

    "The Yale administration should have immediately said with a single voice, ‘Yale is a place of conversation and debate, committed to free expression, and no matter how intense our feelings, screaming in the face of a member of the faculty is not in the spirit of this place,’ ” said Kronman.


    ***************************
    Does it sound like these children are hearing the lesson of being kind and good, well-rounded, and non-judgemental?

    That's the issue I'm referring to. I'm not going to list left-leaning courses being offered that I think are "wrong," or list right-leaning courses I think should be offered instead.

    I'm posting about the broader issue of teaching our young people to appreciate the opportunities for personal growth that are offered when people share differing viewpoints, instead of teaching them to recoil in faux horror, or to react with close-minded rage.

    I just don't see how that opportunity is possible, unless universities seek a balance of viewpoints, and allow/encourage students to think independently, and to arrive at conclusions based on their own sense of what seems most right to them. That's the kind of personal growth that encourages innovation, and rewards creativity, and leads to a stronger country.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    The point of the survey was to determine if students who identified themselves as Republicans had withheld political views in class for fear their grades would suffer. 73% said yes.

    No, this is NOT what was going on. The corrected statement is:

    "The point of the survey was to determine if only the students who chose to answer it and identified themselves as Republicans . . . "

    It did NOT determine if all or most students at that campus who identified themselves as Republicans did anything--just the students who chose to respond to the survey. We have no idea if those students correctly represent the views of the rest of the Republican students. We only know that those self-selected students felt that way. They had a gripe and therefore were evidently motivated to respond to the survey.

    That might even be suggestive of the fact that the rest of the Republican students who did not respond, in fact, had no gripe and therefore were not interested in responding.

    And for all we know, the self-selected Repub students with a gripe might not be more than 10% of the Repub students on that campus.

    The only thing we can say with confidence is that the self-selected students were Republicans and most of the self-selected group had a gripe. We know absolutely nothing else about all the other Repub. students who did not participate.

    And, as someone else pointed out, we don't know that any of the "fearful" self-selected Repub students actually suffered downgrading due to their political beliefs. We just know that they feared they would--that they didn't have the courage of their own convictions, in other words.

    Kate

  • studio10001

    I don't disagree that students are encouraged to change their thinking while at University. A fear of suffering grades is equally no indication that they are actually being pressured to change political sides. - my point was about the irony of assumptions. Instructors engaging in any more than a challenge of their positions should be brought to task; I do not go so far as thinking that universities should be brought to task overall. In an ideal setting, ALL students should have their thinking challenged, and this the main concern of the article you posted. Without a challenge to existing thoughts and positions, critical assessment can not develop in students.

    I also regard the assignment of security fees to have more to do with the anticipated effect of a given speaker, than as a punitive arrangement so, no, I do not find them responsible for inviting speakers and then discouraging them from coming. I do, however, think universities 'step in it' when attempting to recoup anticipated expenses beyond contractual boundaries.

    Lastly, social media has a good 4 year advantage ( modestly) on college life in helping to shape a grievance culture, not only for students, but their family and friends. ( I think we see the results of what Kronman discusses on these threads. ) University teaching has an upward struggle in challenging an incoming political mechanism geared toward a battle of who is guilty and who is victimized. And as I said, I think this is where they are failing students. Polarized, emotive substance is the current standard for most participants of the internet, and higher education needs to hold students and faculty alike responsible for disengaging with such fodder for thought. That is a far cry from doing away with higher education, or defunding liberal arts, or any other broad brush attack on our university system.

    I believe universities have a responsibility to provide access to a diversity of thought and a balance of opposing arguments in the classroom, but wonder if the attempt to provide a balance of views in campus life may be backfiring. No such balance exists beyond campus greens. I would be interested to hear someone's thoughts in that regard.


  • jerzeegirl

    No one is
    encouraged to "change their thinking" while at University. Students are
    exposed to different points of view which allows them to decide for
    themselves what they believe in and which directions they want to
    pursue.

  • elvis

    This ^^^:

    I believe universities have a responsibility to provide access to a diversity of thought and a balance of opposing arguments in the classroom

    Absolutely agree!

  • mudhouse

    I believe universities have a responsibility to provide access to a diversity of thought and a balance of opposing arguments in the classroom, but wonder if the attempt to provide a balance of views in campus life may be backfiring. No such balance exists beyond campus greens. I would be interested to hear someone's thoughts in that regard.

    Studio, one reason I've enjoyed posting in this thread is it has me thinking about this point, exactly; balance. The call for balance that Roberts made in his updated statement was the part that seemed reasonable to me, and that's why I joined the thread, as someone who stubbornly (naively?) believes in the benefits of that goal. Now I'm considering the existence of the balance of viewpoints in other areas as well, as you mentioned.

    We've had recent conversation about the balance of threads here in HT (right vs left.) The ongoing issue of (arguments over?) balanced legal opinions in our court is always prominent in everyone's mind, right and left. Our government is structured to reflect a balance of powers. There are two houses of Congress.

    Maybe a decade ago, a majority of Americans would have agreed that a balance of opinions was generally a good goal, because both sides benefit somewhat, and hopefully some good bits from both sides are salvaged in the messy process of compromise (even bloody compromise.) But now we're so polarized, and we feel such a strong need to defend our sides at all costs, I'd wager that many hear a call for balance as a call for surrender.

    Maybe our two sides are so pushed back into our corners, defending what we see as worsening outright attacks on our core beliefs, that a general agreement about the benefits of a balance of viewpoints has been replaced by the idea that "winner take all" is a better goal. Maybe it is, maybe I'm outdated.

    But I've always considered universities to be special places, with a critical role in forming the lives of many young people in our country. Not all of our young, certainly, but many. If respect for the goal of a balance of viewpoints is really doomed everywhere, I hope our universities will at least be the very last place we let it die.

  • ubro

    I'm posting about the broader issue of teaching our young people to appreciate the opportunities for personal growth that are offered when people share differing viewpoints, instead of teaching them to recoil in faux horror, or to react with close-minded rage.

    You paint the picture that close-minded rage is the norm, it IMO is not. Some view points need to be responded to with horror, some view points are so foul that to sit in silence is to agree and is IMO a betrayal of those to whom the insults are hurled.

    I am finding that the Conservatives are not interested in conversation, they are interested in being allowed to speak their views without challenge. When you challenge their views they recoil in horror because they have been used to, up till this time, polite silence.

    Teaching my child to accept racist, homophobic, and downright foul opinions silently, out of respect for the speaker is teaching them to be a part of a system that furthers the very ideals they disagree with.

    I clicked on your link and although it has some factual information, it tends to inflammatory right leaning rhetoric used to further a right leaning opinion. And a check on the bias of the site tells me

    • Overall we rate the New York Post on the far end of Right-Center Biased due to story selection that typically favors the Right and Mixed (borderline questionable) for factual reporting based on several failed fact checks.

    I did notice this part in the opinion piece though:

    His own university, Yale, was convulsed by a social-justice frenzy in 2015 after professor Erika Christakis wrote a gentle letter to students about, of all things, Halloween costumes.


    Although it sounds fine ( I wonder at the word gentle), it did not say exactly what was in the letter. It may well be that the students had a point. So until I actually see her letter I don't think we should judge them.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    And I believe most universities already accomplish that and will continue to do that in the future.

    That many students from many different places and backgrounds almost guarantees a diversity of opinion.

    However, what I also found was that some students--usually embracing a conservative viewpoint--were not happy when they could not get the professor to declare their conservative viewpoint as the only correct viewpoint on the subject. That's what they really wanted--someone to officially declare their conservative view as correct and the other views wrong.

    Kate

  • mudhouse

    margaux: I'll bet that what conservatives really want are their tax dollars to fund private colleges so that there's a conservative choice of where they can send their kids.

    bob_cville: I'd counter what conservatives really want are their tax dollars to
    only fund
    conservative leaning colleges, and for the rest to be shuttered.

    You're welcome to your viewpoints about what you believe conservatives want, of course. But that's absolutely not what I want, and it's not what I've been calling for in this thread.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)

    I wish "edit" worked. I need to insert "diversity" into the first sentence of my previous post, but Houzz won't let me. Hopefully some of you guessed that is what I was referring to.

    Kate

  • gyr_falcon

    I agree with ubro. I was going to copy the parts I was especially agreeing with while reading, but it expanded to three paragraphs.

  • HU9999

    No offense to ubro, but she used more opinion, by way of her own suggestions, to support her opinon. She didn't use "supporting info". But don't use ubro. What do you think, "HU9999"?

    That's hysterical. She used information and reasoning to back up her opinion,

    You? You just stated your "opinion" to mock someone else. Your attempts to offend are quite obvious, despite your claims to the contrary.

    Since you asked, I think conservatives are afraid of the younger generation starting to think for themselves and realizing that the GOP is a sham. Can't have that, now can you?

  • HU9999

    It's normal for teachers to challenge student opinions to allow for critical thinking and discussion. If these students go into it believing they are already a victim of liberal teachers, perhaps they take the challenges as personal insults against their conservative values.

    Good point. I'm starting to wonder if it's an inherent trait of conservatives. We see the same thing here. Trump supporters often seem to take any criticism of Trump or the party as a personal insult.

  • elvis

    There you are. Even after all these years, you and "Janie" are still a tag team. It's heartwarming. Not an insult, just an observation.

    Like yours ^^^: We see the same thing here. Trump supporters often seem to take any criticism of Trump or the party as a personal insult.

  • HU9999

    You are breaking the rules set forth by Emily. Last I checked, they applied to everyone.

    Unlike you, I don't know Janie. Or "Janie". Perhaps walk away from the keyboard and focus on other more important things in life? The obsession with names of posters seems unhealthy IMO.

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