Miami University's One-Party Classroom
By: Natalie McKerjee
MiamiStudent.net | Monday, March 23, 2009
Miami University may be losing its conservative stereotype if claims by author David Horowitz ring true.
Horowitz's latest book One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America's Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy focuses on colleges throughout the U.S. that allegedly indoctrinate their students into a radical political ideology.
Miami is ranked ninth on Horowitz's list of "Dirty Dozen" schools. Other schools include Columbia University, Duke University, University of Texas, Penn State University, Temple University, Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Horowitz has been promoting his book through appearances on the cable network news talk show circuit during the past week. In a March 10 interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Horowitz said he believes there are approximately 10 to 30,000 indoctrination courses within colleges across the nation designed to leave students with radical Marxist, anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-free market points of view.
Horowitz said these universities have liberal professors who influence their students through various course materials and discussions.
During the interview with Fox News, Horowitz described the transition to indoctrination he believes occurs at these universities.
"Radicals went into the universities and became professors and then redesigned the courses," Horowitz said in the interview.
In response to Horowitz's statements, Miami's College Republicans held a meeting Monday night to review his book and discuss how the issue of indoctrination applies to Miami's students.
College Republicans Chairman Chris Berry facilitated the meeting and led an open discussion on various topics, including examples of classes in which members said they had noticed liberal influences and how the implicated courses affected students' perceptions.
Many of the members contributed anecdotes from their experiences in Miami classes supporting Horowitz's claims. The courses discussed ranged from botany to women's studies to communication.
According to Berry, indoctrination is an issue for students.
"Students are captive to indoctrination," Berry said.
Despite Horowitz's argument, Provost Jeffrey Herbst said Miami has established policies to ensure professors remain unbiased in their teaching methods.
"We have a very long statement in the Miami University policy manual on precisely this issue," Herbst said.
Chapter five, section two of Miami's policy and information manual states "faculty members should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution."
Sean Wright, co-president of College Democrats, said Miami's policy is well enforced on campus.
"During the elections, President Hodge was adamant about professors not being allowed to discuss their political views," Wright said.
Wright said Miami's slant toward liberalism is not a result of indoctrination, but rather reflects a general worldwide climate toward it.
"Many courses that are accused of being biased are just providing information that empowers and embraces cultural differences," Wright said. "They are just focusing on the construction of a liberal education."
Herbst said he believes Miami professors abide by the university's guidelines against indoctrination.
"Professors have the right to their own opinions," Herbst said, "but, like I said, we have a statement of good teaching practices, and I think the faculty adheres to those."
Sophomore political science major Mandi Martanovic said professors may be unable to avoid revealing political tendencies.
"I think that underlying biases are unavoidable," Martanovic said. "There is no way professors can be completely objective, but I don't think that their opinions have that much of an impact on students."
Additional reporting by Brianna Mulligan.
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