big thoughts here
[...] big thoughts here Source: Postmodern Conservative [...]
Nice piece, Peter. Next, after talking about diversity on faculty and in departments, you’ll want to talk about diversity among colleges and universities, ie., the necessity and desirability of University of Dallases, Hillsdales, Thomas Aquinas Colleges, et cetera.
Is it the case that private universities don’t have to follow affirmative action in accepting students and hiring teachers, but public universities pretty much do?
If so, I think that adds some complexity to the notion of “positive good” of intellectual diversity among all the universities of the country, Paul. Should there be a public, state-school version of Hillsdale out there? That would be a pretty hard sell! There actually are a ton of publicly funded Hillsdale charter high schools now though. Some of my University of Dallas friends teach at the Dallas location
Paul, You are right. Hillsdale’s genius, of course, is to be completely private. And so it is free to engage in “conservative political correctness,” to have one kind of conservative dominating the political science department, pretty much other kinds dominating the humanities etc. The post was meant to be ironic in a bunch of senses. One might be that official affirmative action for conservatives would require a bureaucratic definition of “being conservative” that would be ridiculous on its face and subject to endless abuse.
CJ, I don’t know the particulars, but Maryland’s legislature established a liberal arts college a while back (a friend’s son attended, which is how I heard about it). State funded, but explicitly devoted to liberal education. As for “gymnastics” (in the Republic sense), it’s on the Chesapeake and has a crew program.
Sorry to be the Eor here, especially given my new buck-the-trends situation at Christopher Newport University, but the overall trend is toward continuing marginalization of conservatives in academia, and a tandem (if less severe) marginalization of all liberal-education-supporting profs. From my limited vantage point of being on the low end of the totem poll at four different institutions, the overall trends are bad, and I don’t have a sense that the good education reform efforts to save our universities, of the sort ISI, the Jack Miller center, and others have promoted, have made that much of a dent. They’ve made undergraduate education less of a wasteland at a handful institutions in a temporary way. But the power structures remain decisively stacked against conservatives and genuine liberal educators. And despite being a 50-50 nation, moderate-to-conservative parents continue to send their kiddos to the old-line prestige places, where liberal indoctrination is rampant.
The Hillsdale model is thus not, IMO, a token of hope, although I salute all those running the place. Rather, what it represents is what the highly conservative third of the nation will turn to when conservatives have given up on academia altogether. And again, the trends all point to that day, the day when the construction of a “Red v. Blue” system of higher education begins in earnest.
In southern and even western states, there are efforts to save liberal education pushed by a kind of conservative political correctness flowing from regents or legislatures. Christopher Newport to some extent…for example. But these efforts often turn into ridiculous messes: Conservatives eating each other and even shamelessly sucking up to “liberals” at the University of Texas, for example.
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