- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As pointed out in Ben Stein’s new documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”: “If professors value their careers, they will keep their mouths shut.”

This is the perfect example of liberal bias and political correctness ruling the day on college campuses… and why the Collegiate Network established the Campus Outrage Awards. Each year the Collegiate Network highlights the five most egregious examples of political correctness run amok on American college campuses.

Earlier this month, the Collegiate Network awarded Iowa State University (ISU) a 2008 Campus Outrage Award for classroom bias. ISU received the fifth place for denying Professor Guillermo Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy, tenure after he co-authored in 2004 the book, “The Privileged Planet,” which suggests Intelligent Design might be responsible for life on Earth. Although he never taught Intelligent Design in class, when Dr. Gonzalez applied for tenure in 2007, he was denied.

It is inexplicable that Mr. Gonzalez was denied tenure. He has had nearly 70 peer-reviewed articles published and has co-authored a major college-level astronomy textbook, which was well beyond the standard and tenure requirements of the Physics & Astronomy department at ISU. Interestingly enough, while his colleagues questioned Mr. Gonzalez’s view on Intelligent Design — a bias clearly revealed through faculty e-mail exchanges released to the public — they heartily approved of another ISU professor, Hector Alvalos, who drew parallels between “Mein Kampf” and the Bible.

If tenure is based on academic success through researching and teaching at ISU, which Mr. Gonzalez clearly accomplished, then what more would ISU liked to have seen of Mr. Gonzalez? In 2007, the year Gonzalez was denied tenure, 91 percent of tenure applications were approved, Professor Alvalos being one of them.

Unfortunately, seems a close adherence to the narrow ideology of the university, as opposed to actual academic accomplishments, are a better route for tenure at ISU.

Come May 15, 2008, Mr. Gonzalez will no longer be employed at ISU for not conforming to the university’s ideology, which the ISU professors made clear they rejected him because of his philosophical approach to science, not his academic qualifications. Come this fall, Mr. Gonzalez will be employed by Grove City College in Pennsylvania. It is good to know that at least one institution of higher learning is not blinded by political correctness.

The other top finishers were:

Duke University: Duke took the grand prize in 2008 for hosting the “Sex Workers Art Show,” a visual and performance art show, featuring sex “occupations;” which includes strippers, prostitutes, and phone-sex operators in a “cabaret-style” performance. While some of the performers read poetry, others strip to near-nudity and don artificial sex organs (while mocking President Bush). The irony of this display at Duke University’s campus, is, of course, that during the Duke Lacrosse “rape” scandal, university administrators demonized the lacrosse team for inviting a stripper to an off-campus party, and yet, the administration condones on-campus strippers?

University of Delaware: The Blue Hens took second place for a politically correct program for freshmen, which was designed to “leave a mental footprint on their consciousness.” Students were indoctrinated with a definition of racism that said a “racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist [racist] system,” a term “that applies to all white people.”

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, took third place for the letter its Affirmative Action Office issued claiming that student-employee Keith Sampson “demonstrated disdain and insensitivity” to coworkers by reading in their presence “Notre Dame vs. The Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan.”

The book described how Notre Dame, in 1924, chased the Ku Klux Klan out of South Bend, Ind.

William and Mary: Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater earned its fourth-place finish when President Gene Nichol, learning from the Board of Visitors that his contract would not be renewed, sent an e-mail to all students, faculty and alumni blaming his removal on conservative activists. Responding to the e-mail, students and faculty went on strike to show solidarity with the fired president and staged a demonstration in which students vandalized and spray-painted the Wren Building, the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States.

Intelligence may not be required of the administrations of all five Campus Outrage Awards, but maybe common sense should.

Doug Schneider is director of institutional advancement at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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