David Horowitz Says No Quotas · 09 September 2003
By Dave Curtin--Denver Post, 9/10
The man who authored the controversial Academic Bill of Rights calling for more conservative viewpoints on what he calls left-leaning college campuses said Tuesday that he's not advocating faculty political quotas.
Nationally known Los Angeles conservative David Horowitz said his document has been misunderstood and misrepresented in Colorado and he's surprised by the brouhaha it's created.
Horowitz's proposed code for college campuses has created a firestorm in academic circles since state Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, revealed over the weekend that Republican leaders would consider codifying it as a state mandate.
"I have never supported quotas," Horowitz said. "The Academic Bill of Rights doesn't call for the government to intervene in the affairs of universities.
"I never want to see any legislation that calls for a percentage of Republicans or Democrats on a faculty or a percentage reflecting the voters of the state. I'm appalled by that, and I don't believe any legislator in Colorado has that in mind."
Horowitz said he presented his ideas for more politically diverse faculties at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington last August. More than 2,000 Democratic and Republican state legislators attended, including Andrews and Gov. Bill Owens, who says he supports the concept.
Horowitz said he hoped universities would recognize intellectual diversity as a good idea and adopt his code without any government prompting.
"There's an extraordinary imbalance of intellectual viewpoints at liberal arts universities," he said.
He says the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder is 94 percent Democrat, 2 percent Green Party and 4 percent Republican, according to a 2-year-old study by his staff based on a sample of 126 professors. The study did not include those of unknown affiliation or independent.
The University of Denver ratio was 98 percent Democratic and 2 percent Republican, Horowitz said. Both studies included professors from English, history, political science, journalism/communications, African-American studies, women's studies and sociology departments.
He said that although he doesn't believe in political-party quotas on faculties, he uses them to get a sense of the one-sided ideology presented to students.
His study of 32 elite universities showed similar results.
"We don't ask people's political affiliation during the hiring process, and indeed, it would be illegal for us to ask this," CU president Betsy Hoffman said Tuesday. "We hire faculty strictly on academic merit. However, we do bring speakers to the campuses from across a broad range of the political spectrum."
Horowitz isn't satisfied with that. "There is no conservative presence on the faculty at CU-Boulder. Leftists control whole departments," Horowitz said. "It would create a dialogue if there were 10 conservatives on the faculty rather than one or two. Or if there were 30 out of a thousand.
"You can't get a good education if they're only telling half the story. All I'm asking is that the university itself make a policy and that there be dialogue and respect for difference."