The President of the South Dakota Board of Regents claims that the state will investigate its public colleges for instances of leftist bias and indoctrination.
In a strong affirmation of the original values of the higher education system, Kevin V. Schieffer, the President of the South Dakota Board of Regents, announced in a column last week that the state will investigate their public universities for evidence of leftist political bias. Schieffer used the column to argue that educators in the state should not promote specific political worldviews, but rather give students the tools to explore them and come to their own conclusions.
Schieffer argued that an investigation into campus diversity officers will take place to ensure that they are not inappropriately pushing a leftist worldview. The investigation will lead to a report, which will dictate the state’s actions on such political activity on campus.
We support suggestions to ensure that existing university diversity centers are balanced and focused on promoting and enhancing cultural diversity, and that they are not pushing excess liberal or extreme ideological agendas. We will explore that in greater detail and issue a separate report on our findings and actions. We oppose eliminating or slashing diversity centers’ funding, however. They are important to the educational experience and critical for business — as attested to by the chambers of commerce and other business leaders.
Schieffer finished the column by arguing that political indoctrination undermines the purpose of university education. He argues that the South Dakota Board of Regents is committed to completely eliminating improper political activity on campus.
In summary, we should not inhibit or promote ideologies of the left or the right. They should all be presented, but none dictated. Balance and common sense are important. Student learning is and must remain the focus of the university experience. Exposure to diverse ideas in political, philosophical, scientific, literary, artistic and other disciplines is an important part of that experience. Manipulated indoctrination into any one of them undermines it. Students overwhelmingly support free speech and diversity, but oppose being forced to fund disruptions by media-starved extremists. We are committed to that end.
There are twelve public colleges and universities in the state of South Dakota. South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota have a combined enrollment of over 20,000 students.
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