In Denial about the Victory We Won in Pennsylvania · 30 November 2006

By David Horowitz
Filed under: Pennsylvania

The shameless attempt by the teacher unions to suppress the fact that the academic freedom campaign has changed the face of academic freedom in higher education in the State of Pennsylvania has found a willing ally in the press -- including apparently the libertarian press. In an article in Reasononline about the recent National Association of Scholars Conference in Cambridge, Cathy Young writes: "Some conservatives advocate legislative interference as a solution. Activist David Horowitz has been pushing for an "Academic Bill of Rights" that would not only protect dissenting students from classroom retaliation but also guarantee the inclusion of balanced viewpoints in the curriculum. This effort has gone nowhere."

These sentences are false in every respect. I do not advocate "legislative interference" in universities. I have no legislation pending on an Academic Bill of Rights for Higher Education, and the legislation I once sponsored was merely resolutions designed to put the issues of intellectual diversity and indoctrination on the radar screen, which I did.

I have never advocated any measure to "guarantee the inclusion of balanced viewpoints in the curriculum." I never use the word "balance" because I don't believe you can balance ideas. I have advocated making students aware of dissenting points of view on matters that are controversial. One would think a libertarian could support that position.

Finally, far from going nowhere, my effort in Pennsylvania has resulted in the creation of student rights not to be politically harassed or indoctrinated by professors for the first time so far as I can tell in the history of higher education. I have done this against the opposition of the entire educational establishment in the state, the media, the Democratic Party and a handful of Rhinos. I think that is something or somewhere, but I don't expect Young or other opponents to acknowledge that soon.