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High Noon in Texas for Leftist Academics By: Steve Brown
CNSNews.com | Monday, November 10, 2003


Following Steve Brown's article, we include the Spring 2004 list of professors UTYCT sent out, as well as a sample of NoIndoctrination.org's professor listing. - The Editors.

Fed up with what it views as "an overwhelming liberal bias in higher education," a group of conservative students at the University of Texas has begun compiling a list of professors who allegedly use their classes for the liberal indoctrination of students.

"There's a lot of professors out there who don't just teach the facts, but also mold the curriculum in a way that attempts to produce a certain mindset in their students," said Austin Kinghorn, chairman of the university's chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas. "These are the kinds of professors that the Professor Watch List was designed to identify, and the idea is that we can give a little bit of control back to students in how they're going to determine their own education."

The group distributed
the list at a table on campus last week as students were registering for classes next spring. Students may also find the list on the UTYCT's (University of Texas chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas) website.

Kinghorn noted that students were already able to access information about the level of difficulty in which a particular professor taught his or her class. The Professor Watch List adds another element to the mix, he said. UTYCT members provided the information for the list from class visits or from taking the classes themselves.

Sample entries include one for Robert Jensen, who teaches "Critical Issues in Journalism." According to the Professor Watch List, Jensen introduces the "unsuspecting" student to a crash course in "socialism, white privilege, the truth about the Persian Gulf War and the role of America as the world's prominent sponsor of terrorism.

"Jensen half-heartedly attempts to tie his rants to 'critical issues' in journalism, insisting his lessons are valid under the guise of teaching potential journalists to 'think' about the world around them. Jensen is also renowned for using class time when he teaches Media Law and Ethics to 'come out' and analogize gay rights with the civil rights movement," the list entry for Jensen reads.

Speaking to the Austin American-Statesman, Jensen described himself as "left-progressive" and said he wasn't surprised to be on the list.

"There are students who thank me for bringing up these issues and being straightforward. I've also had complaints and comments from those who think I'm pushing a certain political agenda in class," Jensen told the Statesman.

Jim Eltringham, public relations director for the Arlington, Va.-based Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program, which fosters conservative campus organizations nationwide, said the watch list is "a fantastic idea." He said it would benefit students who come to the realization after a couple of weeks in class that "this isn't an educational experience, this is indoctrination. This is someone telling you what their views are and making that the course curriculum."

"That's not what college is supposed to be about. It's a gross misuse of the opportunity a professor has to educate the next generation," Eltringham told CNSNews.com.

Edmund T. Gordon, another professor profiled on the watch list, teaches African and African-American Studies. The list notes that a black student once asked Gordon in class what was wrong with being black and conservative.

"Gordon implied that if you're black and conservative, you're not black enough, and you're not doing what's in the best interest of the black community," the watch list states.

But Kinghorn pointed out that far-left professors aren't the only ones on the list.

"There's also an honor roll on there, and the idea is it's not about your politics. If a professor runs an intellectually fair class and deals with important subjects without letting their politics get in the way, we think that's worth noting, and we think there's a lot of students who'd be interested in knowing who those professors are," Kinghorn said. "We're not out here to target every liberal professor in the world."

Eltringham agreed, acknowledging that not all liberal professors are bad.

"We're talking about the ones who turn their spot at the front of the classroom into a bully pulpit...and letting ideology affect grades," Eltringham said.

Larry Faulkner, president of the University of Texas, told the Statesman that UTYCT members "have the right to make the list." He said the school's 30-year-old academic freedom policy allows professors "freedom to explore ideas on their own merits," so long as they do not "give undue weight" to their own political or moral judgments.

"The magic word there is 'undue,'" Faulkner told the Statesman. "That's going to be, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder."

While Kinghorn said his group's list was unique at the University of Texas, he pointed to
NoIndoctrination.org, a site providing ratings on professors at campuses across the country. The Texas list will continue to grow and is something UTYCT plans to keep offering during fall and spring registration periods, Kinghorn said.

"The professors seem to be taking the watch list seriously in that they want to dedicate time to it in their classrooms, to discuss it," Kinghorn said.

 

THE LIST YCT DISTRIBUTED:

Spring 2004 Watch List

Instructor: Robert Jensen
Department: Journalism
Course Evaluated: Critical Issues in Journalism
Spring 2004 courses: Critical Issues in Journalism

In a survey course about Journalism, one might expect to learn about the industry, some basics about reporting and layout, the history of journalism, the values of a free press and what careers make the news machine function. Instead, Jensen introduces the unsuspecting student to a crash course in socialism, white privilege, the "truth"; about the Persian Gulf War and the role of America as the world's prominent sponsor of terrorism. Jensen half-heartedly attempts to tie his rants to "critical issues" in journalism, insisting his lessons are valid under the guise of teaching potential journalists to "think" about the world around them. Jensen is also renowned for using class time when he teaches Media Law and Ethics to "come out" and analogize gay rights with the civil rights movement. Ostensibly, this relates somehow to his course material.


Instructor: Clement Henry
Department: Government
Course Evaluated: Arab-Israeli Politics
Spring 2004 courses: Unspecified GOV312 sections and Globalization in Middle East and Africa

Both books that are required reading present a pro-Palestinian bias. Dr. Henry could have required the class to read one Pro-Palestinian and one Pro-Israeli book. He consistently employs a negative tone when talking about the U.S. or Israel, and attempts to belittle students who disagree with him. Dr. Henry has been consistently critical of Israeli and American policies while hardly mentioning the atrocities committed by Arab suicide bombers and espouses ludicrous Jewish conspiracy theories.


Instructor: David Edwards
Department: Government
Course Evaluated: International Relations
Spring 2004 courses: Politics and Reality, 310 American Government

Dr. Edwards allows his hatred of conservatism and capitalism to permeate his entire curriculum. His videos reflect the left-wing viewpoint nine times out of 10. He teaches one side of the story, and uses examples of Bush's policies for nearly every criticism of political actors. The articles he highlights from the New York Times are almost always criticisms of capitalism, free trade organizations or the Iraq war.


Instructor: Steve Bronars
Department: Economics
Course Evaluated: Introduction to Microeconomics
Spring 2004 courses:

Dr. Bronars acknowledges that one of the reasons he teaches economics is to get more people to agree with his opinions on it. He champions the free market system and believes in minimal government intervention. Although he may try to offer a liberal perspective on economics early on, he will admit that his class focuses instead on efficiency. He is very good at teaching economics, but sometimes his opinions are the main things that shine through in his lectures. You probably wouldn't take a free market economics class if you didn't already believe in capitalism, but Dr. Bronars may try to do the thinking for his students without challenging them to question why they feel the way they do.


Instructor: Edmund T. Gordon
Department: African and African-American Studies
Course evaluated: African-American Culture
Spring 2004 courses: Blacks and Resources

A black student in the class who held conservative politics asked what was wrong with being black and conservative, and Gordon implied that if you're black and conservative, you're not black enough, and you're not doing what's in the best interest of the black community. He's called himself a radical and displayed a political agenda of changing students' minds toward a far left ideology. Most of what's taught consists of how blacks were and are oppressed, which would seem to deprive students of other important elements of black culture.


Instructor: Gretchen Webber
Department: Sociology
Course Evaluated: Introduction To The Study Of Society
Spring 2004 courses: Pending

This introductory sociology survey course is taught by Dr. Webber primarily from a conflict theory perspective, although Webber, the textbook and the readings do deal with competing sociological perspectives such as functionalism, symbolic interactionism and feminism [Yes, that IS considered a sociological perspective.]. Webber and the readings’ emphasis on conflict theory mean that a certain interrelated set of premises are assumed at the outset of the course: A nation’s economic wealth is finite; there is "conflict" over this finite wealth along race, class, and gender lines; racial, class, and gender oppression and exploitation result from the dominant group - wealthy, white males - subjugating "subordinate" groups in an effort to hold onto their finite wealth and "perpetuate the status quo;" and finally, challenging racial, class, and gender inequality should be America’s number one policy objective. None of the readings advocate much of a role for an individual’s free will; instead the readings postulate that economic and social forces "determine" most people’s position in the "social hierarchy."


Instructor: Jennifer Suchland
Department: Government
Course: Race, Class, & Gender
Spring 2004 courses: Unspecified GOD 312 section

Since all GOV 312 courses fulfill the second half of the Texas Legislative requirement for 6 college credit hours of U.S. government, not all 49,000 UT students are required to take a GOV 312 class that deals specifically with race, class, and gender issues; there are other GOV 312 sections. However, since GOV 312 is a required class, many UT students may enroll in this section anyway, particularly if it fits their class schedule. This class deals with race, class, and gender issues primarily from a conflict theory or, more accurately, a historical-materialist perspective, as originated by Hegel and Marx, not from a classical liberal worldview. Although during class discussions Suchland allows dissenting ideas, all of the course readings greatly accentuate oppression and exploitation in the U.S. along race, class, and gender lines. If you believe in the American Dream and that the U.S. is a land of great opportunity, nothing in the readings from this class will confirm that belief.


Instructor: Thomas Garza
Department: Slavic Languages and Literature College of Liberal Arts
Course evaluated: The Vampire in Slavic Culture
Spring 2004 courses: Unavailable

Dr. Garza uses his position during lecture to make cheap verbal attacks on American foreign policy and the Bush administration. During one class session he made a vague, yet acidic remark, stating that the past actions of certain moral conservatives are hypocritical because the United States is a nation "that bombs people from other countries for no other reason than the fact that they look different than us." On another occasion, he referred to President George H.W. Bush as "...you know, the President Bush that was actually elected," thus making the implication that the current President holds his office illegitimately. None of these statements were relevant to the subject material, nor did they come with any qualification whatsoever-- he arrogantly offered these remarks as if they were simply a matter of common knowledge.


Instructor: Dr. Harry Cleaver
Department: Economics
Course evaluated:
Spring 2004 courses: Political Economics of International Crisis, Political Economy of Education

While Dr. Cleaver tends to admit his bias occasionally throughout the semester, he floods the course material with a plethora of views from the postmodernist agenda. The former 1960's and 70's Marxist radical slightly refined his views throughout the last few decades and now seems to promote a not so left-wing agenda. He is still highly critical of most political establishments in the country and oftentimes gives a one-sided analysis that is more critical of free-market thinking than the more authoritarian economic philosophies. He is, however, a great lecturer and is well informed.


Instructor: Penne Restad
Department: Liberal Arts Honors
Course evaluated: United States since 1865
Spring 2004 courses: United States since 1865, Myth/Construction of American Identity

Dr. Restad's goal is not to encourage objective inquiry into the history of this nation, but rather to indoctrinate students with highly subjective, emotional reactions to historical events. The class disposes of the concept of examining history from different perspectives in order to reach our own conclusions in favor of studying one side of the study in order to let someone else make up students minds for them. The subject matter was presented through texts that represent the same narrow and far left interpretation of American history.


 


Spring 2004 Honor Roll

Instructor: J. Budziszewski
Department: Government and Philosophy
Course Evaluated: Natural Law Theory
Spring 2004 courses: Religion in American Political Thought, unspecified GOV 312 courses

The University is blessed to have one of the nation' most prominent voices on Natural Law among its ranks, and Budziszewski's (pronounced "BOO-jee-shef-ski") course is a virtual prerequisite to fully understanding the philosophical underpinnings of Western culture and American government. A nihilist turned Christian, Budziszewski eloquently defends the natural law through foundational thinkers of Western culture including Aristotle, John Locke and St. Thomas Aquinas. He runs an intellectually challenging yet fair classroom to students of all ideologies.


Instructor: Rhonda Evans Case
Department: Government
Course evaluated: Civil Rights Constitutional Law
Spring 2004 courses: Unspecified GOV 312 section

In a particularly difficult subject to treat in a fair and balanced manner, Evans-Case, while personally liberal, doesn’t let her politics get in the way of classroom discussion. Dissenting opinion is welcome, and she presents herself as a very respectable and professional lecturer. Evans-Case successfully achieves a balance between her personal beliefs and presenting the facts to allow students to decide for themselves.


Instructor: Bruce Buchanan
Department: Government
Course Evaluated: The American Presidency
Spring 2004 courses: Leaders and Followers in American Politics, unspecified GOV 312 courses

Dr. Buchanan is one of the rare professors who so well hides his own beliefs from the classroom that one if forced to wonder if he has any political leaning at all. While the value of complete objectivism is debatable, Buchanan’s even-handed approach to evaluating presidents is so disarming that even the most hardened ideologue will take his criticisms of their favorite politicians to heart. Rather than simply teaching history under different presidents, Buchanan uses history to explore different models of presidential leadership and behavior in a class that makes students better participants in democracy without persuading them to their educator’s personal views.

A LISTING ON NOINDOCTRINATION.ORG FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO

  course no rebuttal University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Aug. 12, 2003  
  History 2053: Texas History (Prof.: M. Carmen Reyes-Johnson)
  Lecture bias: Excessive   Discussion bias: Excessive   Readings bias: Excessive   Required? All Students




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