David Horowitz Testifies Before Kansas Appropriations Committee · 14 March 2006

Filed under: Kansas, Press Coverage

March 15, 2006
Contact: Elizabeth Ruiz
800-752-6562, ext. 202

David Horowitz Testifies Before Kansas Appropriations Committee

Committee hears testimony about politicized academic programs and lack of policy enforcement at KU and KSU

David Horowitz testified today before the appropriations committee of the Kansas State Legislature on the need to enact an Academic Bill of Rights to protect the academic freedom of students in the state's public colleges and universities.

The Kansas version of the Academic Bill of Rights was introduced as House Concurrent Resolution No. 5035 by Kansas Representative Mary Pilcher Cook. It expresses the strong recommendation of the Kansas House of Representatives that "faculty members will not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or antireligious indoctrination" and that "faculty and instructors have a right to academic freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, but they should make their students aware of serious scholarly viewpoints other than their own," among other principles of academic freedom.

In his testimony, Horowitz highlighted several state-funded academic programs in Kansas which fail to live up to that designation: "The program catalogue at Kansas State University states that in order to graduate with a degree in Women's Studies, students must demonstrate, "Their understanding that Women's Studies is an academic discipline that generates new knowledge about women and gender, reconsiders other disciplines through feminist perspectives, and is committed to social action and social change.'

"This is not the mission statement of an academic program of scholarly inquiry into the history and sociology of women," charged Horowitz. "This is an ideological program frankly designed to indoctrinate students in a radical feminist view of the world, and to recruit them to feminist causes."

Horowitz also quoted from the Kansas Board of Regents' policy on academic freedom which states that "It is improper for an instructor persistently to intrude material that has no relation to the subject or to fail to present the subject matter of the course as announced to the students and as approved by the faculty in their collective responsibility for the curriculum…Students should not be forced by the authority inherent in the instructional role to make particular personal choices as to political action or their own social behavior."

"Are these policies being violated in Kansas schools?," Horowitz queried. "The evidence exists that they are. Entire Departments at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas, for example, are devoted to ideological and political agendas and are, in fact, advocacy programs designed to indoctrinate and train students in one-sided view of controversial issues."

Commenting on the hearings, Horowitz said, "A strong case was made that Kansas' public universities are violating their own policies on academic freedom and that reforms are needed. I hope that the testimony given at this hearing today is a spur to the state's college administrators to take steps to outline and protect their students' academic freedom."

David Horowitz is the chairman of Students for Academic Freedom, a national movement to promote intellectual diversity and to restore educational values to America's institutions of higher learning. The organization recommends that colleges and universities adopt an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure that these principles are respected. The Academic Bill of Rights is available on the organization's website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.