Think a University of California degree is worth its weight in gold? Think again. According to a new study, you might want to rethink that second mortgage needed to send junior to a UC campus.
The California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars, have just released an incendiary report showing that all nine of the University of California’s campuses have been compromised by too many politicized courses and radical faculty members. CAS members include a number of current or past professors from the UC system who have taught at UC-Berkeley, UCLA, UC-Santa Cruz, and UC-San Diego.
Conservatives have long complained of a strong liberal bias in college classrooms, and this new study shows just how far off track it has gone in one of the most prestigious public university systems in the country. You can read the full CAS 81-page report here.
CAS’s president John Ellis knows very well of what he speaks; he’s a professor emeritus of German Literature from UC Santa Cruz. “The quality of education at the University of California has been jeopardized by political activism,” Professor Ellis said in a phone interview. “Dogmatism is rapidly displacing open-minded inquiry, especially in the social sciences and humanities, to the severe disadvantage of students.”
A Crisis in Competence: The Corrupting Influence of Political Activism in the University of California isn’t trying to purge the system of differing left of center opinions. The well-documented study just hopes to even the playing field so students get a quality education – an education that has standards and teaches students to look at all sides of the issues. The CAS report emphasizes common sense observations that seem to be beyond the grasp of the assumed intelligent members of the UC Board of Regents.
One observation points out that “a political science department with one half of the spectrum of political thought missing cannot be considered a competent department.” It seems only a Marxist professor with an agenda and no common sense would disagree with that idea from this new study. Unfortunately, as the study shows, there are a lot more Marxists now teaching in the University of California system than you would think.
The CAS report took the time to carefully vet the studies it cites from various institutions, including George Mason University, the Center for the Study of Popular culture, and many others. They even scoured carefully scrutinized and recorded students complaints on the subject, many of which you can read here.
Here a just a few of the conclusions about the University of California system that CAS came to:
There has been a sharp increase in faculty members who self-identify as radicals. This has led to “one party” academic departments, such as at Berkeley, where left-of-center faculty members outnumber their right-of-center colleagues in Political Science by a ratio of 28:2, in English 29:1 and in History 31:1. A number of these professors are openly avowed Marxists! (Has Van Jones applied for one of these positions?)
Many curricula promote political activism, in violation of UC regulations. Critical Race Studies at UCLA’s School of Law, for example, aims to be a “training ground” for advocates committed to racial justice theory and practice (sounds like Harvard during the Professor Derrick Bell/Obama years).
Several departments attempt to erase the study of Western tradition. History majors are now not required to take a survey course in Western civilization on any of the nine University of California campuses. Four more UC campuses have dropped their American History requirements (many UC students cannot even answer basic questions about American or World History).
Suppression of free speech is commonplace. Speakers at UC Berkeley who have been shouted down by protesters include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner (but Columbia welcomes Iran’s Ahmadinejad to speak with open arms).
Radical and left-of-center UC professors favor hiring like-minded new academics and block the hiring of new professors who don’t “think the right way.” (Why would a conservative incur the enormous debt and hassles pursuing a Ph. D. if the possibility of a professor’s job is little or nil?)
The advancement of “social justice” is now the open aim of a number of UC faculty members and even whole departments in the system (if a student asks questions or writes answers or papers that challenge these professors and their radical assumptions they can expect a poor grade).
The UC curriculum has been gutted because too many professors now show an open preference for promoting a partisan political agenda. These are just a few of the important issues confronting the UC system that the CAS study raises and documents in very credible fashion.
Resident conservative Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post compared the 25th anniversary of the publication of Allan Bloom’s groundbreaking The Closing of the American Mind to the release of the new CAS report. She astutely pointed out that, “…the left systematically has dumbed its side down, to the point where supposedly well-educated elites are untrained and unaware of our country’s history and constitutional traditions.”
Some University of California professors and official apologists, like UC Provost Lawrence Pitts, have tried to defend against or attack the new CAS study. Their objections seem so hollow that even the Los Angeles Times appears to tacitly acknowledge CAS’s well-founded claims.
This is a battle that radicals educators like Howard Zinn, Bill Ayers, and Noam Chomsky planted the seeds of many years ago. For the time being, the radical left owns much of the narrative. It’s time for conservatives and the few common sense liberals left out there to reclaim the educational, historical, and cultural narrative of the United States.
It’s going to take courage, intelligence, and a lot of hard work, and it’s not going to happen overnight. Take a long look at this new California Association of Scholars study and vet it yourself. Look things up, ask questions and talk with your kids, other students, other parents and family members, and don’t be afraid of the far left’s intellectual elite. Common sense is a lot more important than Marxist indoctrination even at a place like the University of California.