Ball State's Prof. Wolfe Continues Distortions · 02 November 2005

Editor's note: The following letter was sent from David Horowitz to the Muncie Star Press in response to an article by writer Seth Slabaugh which repeated numerous falsehoods and distortions made by Ball State University Professor George Wolfe in a speech he gave on Halloween on "the use of Ghandian philosophy to counter David Horowitz and the 'New McCarthyism.'" Last year, Professor Wolfe was shown to have used his peace studies classroom to indoctrinate students in anti-military ideology. The letter and article may be read below. For more details about Wolfe and BSU's Peace Studies Center, please see our pamphlet Indoctrination or Education? The "Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution" Program at Ball State University.

Letter from David Horowitz to the Muncie Star Press

Dear Editor,

The article by Seth Slabaugh ("Peace Studies Enrollment Up") reports several false and slanderous statements by Professor George Wolfe about myself, his former student Brett Mock and the academic freedom campaign, and adds some misrepresentations of its own.

Our campaign has never been about liberal bias. It is about professional incompetence, in particular the fact that Wolfe is a saxophone player who teaches a course at Ball State on the causes of war and peace. It is about the fact that Wolfe has been using his classroom for indoctrination rather than education. Brett Mock who was Wolfe's student has claimed that Professor Wolfe used the grading system to force students to agree with his political views. Whatever the merits of this complaint (and it was never properly looked into by the school authorities), the academic freedom campaign is concerned about professors -- whatever their political persuasion -- who use the classroom to promote their personal political, social or ethical agendas and who deny students the right to have their opinions on controversial issues.

The Star article correctly reported that I have written that the Peace Studies program at Ball State is encourages students to be anti-military, anti-American and to have sympathies for the terrorists. But it neglected to mention that my conclusion was based not only students' accounts of what went on in the classroom but on a reading of the only required text for Professor Wolfe's course. This text was written by two professors who claim in the preface to be anti-military leftists and who write that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" and who compare the American founders to Islamic terrorists.

Your reporter describes my academic freedom campaign as an attempt to "expose politically biased college professors and administrators." There is no basis whatsoever for this characterization. We have defended leftwing students whose academic freedom has been abused and we have supported leftwing professors whose tenure has been denied because of their political views, as well as conservatives. Our campaign is to restore academic integrity and academic freedom in the classroom, regardless of the viewpoint of professors or administrators.

It is disagraceful that George Wolfe should be inflicted on Indiana students as someone quallified to teach them about the complex and critical issues of war and peace. He is a saxophone player. He should teach the saxophone. And he should stop making false claims about his critics, which is exactly the tactic of McCarthyism, which he pretends to deplore.

Sincerely,

David Horowitz

Peace Studies Enrollment Up
By Seth Slabaugh--Muncie Star Press--11/01/05

MUNCIE - Enrollment in peace and conflict studies at Ball State University has increased since the program was the target of a "smear campaign" a year ago, director George Wolfe says.

"What began in September 2004 as a concern over liberal bias grew into the absurd and shameful accusation by Mr. (David) Horowitz that peace studies at Ball State was anti-American and was supporting terrorism," Wolfe said in a speech on Monday.

Horowitz is a nationally known conservative author, commentator, and strategist. His online magazine, FrontPageMag.com, accused Ball State's peace studies program and others like it of "indoctrinating students and recruiting them to agendas that are anti-American, anti-military, and friendly to the terrorist enemy intent on destroying us."

Wolfe credited the resulting nationwide publicity with increasing the number of students enrolled in the 18-hour interdisciplinary peace studies minor from six students to 33.

The number of students taking the spring-semester Introductory peace studies core class doubled from 13 in 2004 to 26 in 2005.

In addition, several people in the Muncie community made significant contributions to the Peace Studies Foundation, Wolfe said.

Wolfe accused Students for Academic Freedom and Horowitz of using unsubstantiated charges and intimidation tactics the way Sen. Joseph McCarthy did in the 1950s. "The fear now is not subversive Communist infiltrators, but would-be terrorists," Wolfe said.

The controversy started a year ago when conservative Ball State student Brett Mock, who took one of Wolfe's classes, filed a complaint with Students for Academic Freedom accusing Wolfe of being biased. SAF is a national organization founded by Horowitz to expose politically biased college professors and administrators.

Mock, now a Ball State graduate working in Indianapolis, attended Wolfe's speech this week and challenged him during a question-and-answer session to a debate. Wolfe said he would not debate Mock unless Mock first apologized.

In an interview, Mock accused Wolfe of "playing the victim" and said, "Come to find out, Joe McCarthy wasn't as wrong as everybody thought he was. We have now shown there were Communists, espionage going on in the government, over 350 some odd people involved who were Americans, including I believe the secretary of state and the first ambassador to the United Nations."

Another conservative student attending Wolfe's speech, Kyle Ellis, editor of bsyou.net, is urging Ball State to pay Horowitz's travel expenses to come to campus to speak.