April 02, 2005
Response to KC Johnson

I wrote this as a response to Transparency or a 'Selig Strategy'? by KC Johnson:

As a former undergrad and current employee and graduate student of supposedly "very liberal" schools, I've found that many of the faculty that are employed are in the center or to the right of center, as many are also to the right of center.

And of course, there's a small minority of professors on the far left. And far right.

In general, I have fund that actual "punishment " of students (bad grades, public humiliation) is relatively rare. Additionally, I've found it is very easy for the average student to blame their poor academic performance on an external factor.

Furthermore, extremist-activist students (of all shades, both looney left and wing-nut right) tend to push classroom discussions so far out of the realm of reasonable that they are often asked to be quiet by professors who just want to keep the discussion on topic.

To wit: in class, a student does not have freedom of speech. All students speak at the pleasure of the professor and should be silent when asked.

Of course, there are some disciplines that do seem to get a bit more radical than others such as women's studies or the business school (you think it's hard being a conservative in a women's studies class? Try taking a class in any business school and espousing some socialist views... you'll see some academic repression then =)

To stop this from rambling too much, and to summarize: Universities have multiple avenues for students to pursue academic justice if it has occurred already, There is no need for a Students Bill of Rights that will second guess faculty, as students feel plenty free to do that already, believe me.

With most faculty that I've met--if a student actually does the reading/assignments and is able to participate intelligently in class, the professor will be so delighted that someone actually cares about the material that I doubt the student would be punished for having views contrary to the teacher's.

I'm curious to see if the editors greenlight the comment.

Posted by illovich at April 02, 2005 12:46 PM

they'll never post this. johnson is a "colleague" of ours, with embarassment i admit this. he is a racist, sexist asshole and we don't need him in brooklyn.

Posted by: ss on June 8, 2005 12:49 AM
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