Students Told to Fight Academic Injustice · 24 March 2004

Filed under: Press Coverage

By Heidi Burton--Utah Statesman, 03/24/04

Conservative students of Utah were challenged Friday by a national pundit to do their part to end political indoctrination on their campuses.

David Horowitz, a conservative activist and author of the Academic Bill of Rights, spoke in favor of intellectual diversity at the convention for the Utah Federation of College Republicans in Logan.

"[Liberals] have corrupted the university and treated it as a political soapbox," Horowitz told the approximately 200 students in attendance, many of them from Utah State University.

Horowitz is seeking to get state legislatures across the country to support the Academic Bill of Rights. The bill is intended to defend the right of students to be treated with respect by the university, regardless of their political or religious beliefs, and to promote fairness in student affairs.

It has become all too common for students to suffer unfairly from the effects of a partisan professor, Horowitz said.

As an example, Horowitz said a professor at the University of Northern Colorado put "Explain why George Bush is a war criminal" as a midterm essay question. Horowitz said one student instead wrote on why Saddam Hussein is a war criminal, and received an F.

Horowitz said a student at USU also received a failing grade on a paper for challenging a liberal view of the war on Iraq.

"In a decent world, that professor would be fired," Horowitz said. "In this world, that gave [the professor] the power to shut the student up so he can graduate."

Horowitz said professors have the right to express their opinions, but they also have a professional obligation to avoid straying outside the subject matter of the course to convey contempt for a particular party, ideology or religion.

When President Ronald Reagan went in for surgery, Horowitz said, he asked the doctors, "Are any of you Democrats?" Horowitz said the doctors replied that they were all Republicans for that day.

"We still live in an age when we can trust our doctors to act professionally," Horowitz said. "They are entitled to their opinions about politics and religion. As professionals, they take an oath to treat all their patients regardless of politics, regardless of religion.