Intercollegiate Studies Institute President: Conservative Students Shouldn’t Hide from Their Liberal Professors

Empty college classroom

Charlie Copeland, the President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, told Breitbart News this week that conservative students shouldn’t hide from their Liberal professors, because it can hinder their intellectual growth. At the same time, Copeland points out it is important to research professors to learn who the most extreme leftists are. 73 percent of Republican students report self-censoring in the classroom to avoid problems with professors according to a recent survey.

Charlie Copeland serves as the president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), which was first headed by a young William F. Buckley. The ISI, under Copeland’s leadership, continues the tradition that Buckley started, uniting and educating right-minded students on American campuses around the country.

Copeland spoke with Breitbart News this week in response to a survey that revealed that 73 percent of Republican students self-censor in the classroom to avoid repercussions at the hands of their leftist professors. Copeland argues that conservative students would be best served if they engage in a civil back-and-forth with their leftist professors.

“I do think that there are options. ISI has a network of faculty associates on 940 campuses across the country. It’s about 37 percent of the college campuses out there. We know, through our own research internally and long history, that there are probably a couple of thousand faculty members out there that are conservative and we’re working every day to try to identify them and build them into our network of associates,” Copeland said.

Copeland suggested that many leftists, including one freshman congresswoman, hinder their intellectual capacity by surrounding themselves only with those with whom they agree. “And sometimes it’s good to be in a class where, maybe, the professor does disagree with you, in a respectful back-and-forth kind of way. Because that helps sharpen your saw.  If I just hang out with people that agree with me, then I end up like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, where I don’t actually develop any intellectual depth because I never challenged myself,” Copeland added.

Copeland encourages right-leaning students to research professors before they enroll in their classes. “If you are on a campus and you don’t know where to go and you don’t have a professor that you can trust that you can reach out to, then I think the advice of ‘just lay low, get your degree and get out in the real world and do your thing’ makes a lot of sense,” Copeland added. “But there are conservative faculty out there, and if you reach out to an organization like ISI and identified those professors and took classes with good professors and not lousy professors, then I think then you can get a better education than if you just keep your head down and try to avoid being outed.”

However, if a conservative student ends up in a course taught by an intolerant leftist professor, Copeland tells students that they have two options. “If you do end up in one of those classes, the chances are not small that you will, I do think that you have two options. The safe route is to say, ‘I’ve got to come here for the next 12 weeks. It’s two times a week for an hour and fifteen minutes,” Copeland said. “So I’m just going to keep my head down and do the readings…I’ll be okay and I’ll get out.’ That’s an absolutely safe way to go. Now, we have 60 student newspapers across the country, and some of these students are feisty students. And they want to have the argument.  They want an open debate. For someone like that, I say, alright, put something in the paper that challenges the teacher.”

The ISI website includes information for students, faculty, and alumni on how they can help improve higher education in the United States.


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