Politicized colleges are alienating students and their bill-paying parents, writes a college consultant in the Washington Post.
Recently, I was advising an Eagle Scout who was justifiably proud of his accomplishment and wanted to highlight it on his college applications. But I worried that the national Boy Scouts’ stand against homosexuals as scout leaders might somehow count against him in the admissions process at some schools. So I suggested that he get involved in an AIDS hotline to show his sensitivity to an issue often linked to the gay community.
Once students led political battles on campus. Now it’s the professors who are talking politics, while students want to get an education that leads to a job, writes Steven Roy Goodman.
Update: Stanley Kurtz follows up with an idea for a solution: Set up alternative programs that serve as enclaves for moderates and conservatives.
The problem with Columbia’s Middle East-studies program is less the behavior of any given professor than the absence of alternative points of view. If Columbia had a place for professors who supported American and Israeli policies, and not merely for faculty who bitterly opposed them, not only would we have real debate, but students would feel less intimidated.
The faculty holds the power of grades and recommendations. One’s ability to go on to post-graduate work depends on not offending one’s professors. Once moderate and conservative students know they can get recommendations from professors who are broadly sympathetic to their views, students will have less to fear from leftists. And having lost their monopoly, politically correct professors may even begin to compete for students. That would make fairness to students of all views more likely.
Setting up an alternative program worked at Princeton, Kurtz writes.
Thanks to Allen in Comments for the Kurtz link.