[Guest post by DRJ]
The University of Colorado at Boulder, home of Ward Churchill and the Pot Smoke-Out, is so liberal that even the University’s Chancellor is searching for a right-wing professor to add diversity to the campus:
“How liberal is the University of Colorado at Boulder? The campus hot-dog stand sells tofu wieners. A recent pro-marijuana rally drew a crowd of 10,000, roughly a third the size of the student body. And according to one professor’s analysis of voter registration, the 800-strong faculty includes just 32 Republicans.
Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson surveys this landscape with unease. A college that champions diversity, he believes, must think beyond courses in gay literature, Chicano studies and feminist theory. “We should also talk about intellectual diversity,” he says. So over the next year, Mr. Peterson plans to raise $9 million to create an endowed chair for what is thought to be the nation’s first Professor of Conservative Thought and Policy.
Mr. Peterson’s quest has been greeted with protests from some faculty and students, who say the move is too — well, radical.
“Why set aside money specifically for a conservative?” asks Curtis Bell, a teaching assistant in political science. “I’d rather see a quality academic than someone paid to have a particular perspective.” Even some conservatives who have long pushed for balance in academia voice qualms. Among them is David Horowitz, a conservative agitator whose book “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America” includes two Boulder faculty members: an associate professor of ethnic studies who writes about the intersection of Chicano and lesbian issues, and a philosophy professor focused on feminist politics and “global gender justice.” While he approves of efforts to bolster a conservative presence on campus, Mr. Horowitz fears that setting up a token right-winger as The Conservative at Boulder will brand the person as a curiosity, like “an animal in the zoo.” We “fully expect this person to be integrated into the fabric of life on campus,” replies Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.”
Chancellor Peterson is (surprise!) a Republican and he hopes to lure conservatives to campus as visiting professors — people like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, columnist George Will and Philip Zelikow, who chaired the 9/11 Commission.
However, even Chancellor Peterson knows it’s going to be a hard sell. That’s probably why he acknowledges that the visiting professors of conservative thought may not actually be conservatives. After all, some French teachers aren’t actually French.