Response to Daily Camera Editorial · 24 May 2005

Filed under: Replies to Critics

To the editor:

In your recent editorial (Left, right and wrong, 05/25) you state that conservatives "should be asking what they can do" about the vast leftward tilt of universities like CU Boulder instead of relying on the universities themselves or state legislatures to make changes. You declare that you've "long believed that conservatives need to encourage talented young people from within their own ranks to pursue academic careers."

This theory falls apart when you consider that one of the key reasons more talented young conservatives do not pursue careers in academia is due to the current climate of intolerance and discrimination towards non-leftist viewpoints. When professors express vitriolic hatred of conservatives in their classes they send a not-so-subtle message to their conservative students that they are not welcome and should not think of an academic career. A law professor at CU Boulder told his class last fall that "the 'R' in 'Republican' stands for 'racist" and called a conservative student a "Nazi" when he spoke up to object. Who can blame conservative students for not wanting to pursue careers in such a hostile climate, and where people who obviously hate them control the process? That's why the Academic Bill of Rights insists on a civil and non-partisan atmosphere in the classroom.

University administrators bear the responsibility for preventing such abuses of academic freedom and ensuring that their institutions are open to students of all views and cultures. They do this for ethnic and racial minorities, but the harassment of conservative students is for some reason still tolerated.


Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom