Response to Investors Business Daily:
I am the national campus director of Students for Academic Freedom, which supports David Horowitz’s “Academic Bill of Rights,” which was the target of an op-ed by Thomas Krannawitter (“Why Colleges are Becoming Anti-American”). Krannawitter is wide of the mark in attacking David Horowitz for encouraging “intellectual diversity” in the classroom.
Krannawitter claims that by promoting the inclusion of a diversity of viewpoints Horowitz is siding with relativists like Ward Churchill who hold that all truths are culturally determined. He views this as a betrayal of conservative principles. In fact it is merely a suggestion that in regard to matters that are controversial there ought to be more than one point of view represented by the instructor.
On the other hand, it is also apparent that Krannawitter is perfectly at ease with the ‘force-feeding’ model of education; he simply wants Conservative truths to be taught, in place of Leftist ones.
In contrast, Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Rights holds that “Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of all faculty.” Far from an endorsement of cultural relativism, the Bill simply encourages discussion and debate on the academic controversies relevant to class discussion.
Does Krannawitter really believe that our students will be better prepared for the world by avoiding issues of academic and political controversy in the classroom in favor of blind adherence to conservative ideals? One hopes that, given his career as an educator, he can see the pitfalls in that.
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom
David Horowitz Freedom Center