Ball State Ambush · 06 March 2005

By Justin

My name is Justin Peters and I was in Dr. Rouse's Political Science 350 class on Public Administration in the Fall semester of 2004 at Ball State University. At the beginning of the semester, Dr. Rouse constantly made reference to a situation at Ball State University that had nothing to do with political science. It involved a professor of "Peace Studies" named Dr. Wolfe, who had been criticized by students Brett Mock and Amanda Carpenter for using his classroom for ideological indoctrination and grading his students politically. Mock made the accusations in his column in the school paper and on FrontPage Magazine; Amanda made hers on her personal website. Dr. Wolfe denied the allegations.

In his classroom digressions about the dispute, Dr. Rouse supported Dr. Wolfe's side and referred to Brett and Amanda in snide terms, saying they were ignorant and confused. According to him, Brett and Amanda were too young to know anything and needed to be more respectful of Dr. Wolfe and his teaching policies and style.

After a couple of weeks, Dr. Rouse informed the class that he had attempted to contact Brett and Amanda so that they could come speak to the class. However, he claimed they were too scared to come to defend themselves. He even printed out his e-mail correspondence with them and passed it out in class, making fun of them as he did so. It was embarrassing.

The organization Students for Academic Freedom had supported Brett and Amanda, so Dr. Rouse decided to make that organization the butt of some crude jokes. He called them, "Students for Academic Fornication."

In fact, Brett and Amanda did eventually come to class to talk about their situations and why they felt the way they did about academic freedom. Dr. Rouse asked them to come to his class to help his students "track down the truth." However, Brett and Amanda walked into a political ambush organized by Dr. Rouse. He had arranged the event so that there were reporters from different media outlets waiting in the class, and it was quickly apparent that he was ready to go to war with Brett and Amanda. A spectacle ensued.

Every time Brett and Amanda tried to speak about their experiences and beliefs, Dr. Rouse would shut them down and say things like, "You would be more comfortable in the economics department with those right-wing wackos!" Dr. Rouse painted them as conservative anarchists with right-wing agendas, when all they wanted was not to be graded politically and not to have their professors force feed them their political prejudices and opinions. The whole class was an unpleasant experience for those of us who sympathized with Brett and Amanda.

Another hot topic in our political science class was the war in Iraq and President Bush. On a daily basis, the professor would make fun of something Bush did or said, or how bad he thought the war was going and how it was un-American and on and on. After Bush was re-elected, he made reference to a British newspaper headline, which said "How Could Sixty Million People Be So Dumb!" One student in the class finally spoke up at this point and said she did not appreciate his derisory remarks about this because she had voted for Bush. His response was, "Well, I'm just relaying the facts and this is what the paper said not me!"

Dr. Rouse never attempted to make our classroom discussions respectful either. He would shout down students with whom he disagreed or talk over them until they gave up trying to express themselves, so that only he and his leftwing views would prevail. In one class, Dr. Rouse referred to the African American students as "Negroes." Several were offended and asked him to use a different term. Dr. Rouse got angry and said, "Well, that's what people used to call them. At least I didn't use the other 'N' word!" After that, the attendance of the African-American students noticeably dropped.

Dr. Rouse seems to enjoy offending people. I would never take another class with him. He is an out of control professor who thinks the fact that he has tenure gives him a license to bully his students and disrespect them. I received an "A" in his class so I harbor no bad feelings from having been downgraded. But I would caution any other student to avoid his classes. He also authored the text that he uses for the class. Consequently, students get an added leftwing dose, which is reinforced by his hectoring style throughout the semester. When I sold my book back to the bookstore (odd for me because I usually keep books relating to my minor) I wrote in bold print on the first page, "DROP THIS CLASS NOW!" Maybe this will save someone else from the liberal hell I experienced under the tutelage of Dr. Rouse.