- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

A psychology professor at North Dakota State University is urging conservative students not to turn their backs on higher education out of fear of discrimination, but to embrace academia to they can work to dismantle the “leftist cultural elite echo chambers” from within.

Professor Clay Routledge made the assertion that young conservatives can learn more in an ideologically challenging environment in a Friday essay for the James G. Martin Center, titled “A Letter to Conservatives: You Need College and College Definitely Needs You,” Campus Reform first reported.

Mr. Routledge said one of the many reasons right-leaning parents are fearful of sending their kids to college is because they’re afraid their kids will be indoctrinated by leftist professors.

“The lack of viewpoint diversity in the academy is definitely a problem,” the professor wrote. “It frustrates me to see how ideologically-biased the social sciences and humanities in particular have become. Academia has long leaned left, but, as has been revealed in a number of recent surveys, this is increasingly the case. In some disciplines, it is easier to find a Marxist than a Republican. Classical liberalism is giving way to left-wing fundamentalism.”

Mr. Routledge said conservative students stand to get an even better education than their liberal peers, because their views are more often challenged than reinforced on college campuses.

“Progressive groupthink has set in and at many universities the line between education and re-education is disappearing,” he wrote. “The campus safe space movement is being aggressively used to suppress freedom of speech, particularly speech that challenges leftist orthodoxy. And, in certain fields, scholars seem to care more about engineering the social world than actually studying and understanding it. Having more conservatives involved in university life and scholarship would help restore some order to the academic universe.”

Mr. Routledge said the only way conservatives can have a real impact on academia is to “roll up” their sleeves and “get in the game.”

“If you don’t like the leftist cultural elite echo chambers, break down the chamber doors and chime in,” he wrote. “I understand it is easier said than done. Surveys suggest you will face ostracism and discrimination. But, believe it or not, there are conservative, libertarian, classically liberal, and centrist professors out there, even in the social sciences, and they are doing outstanding work.

“In short, conservative parents and young adults, our country is already divided. Disengaging from higher education will only make the problem worse,” he concluded. “Speaking from within the Ivory Tower, I can attest that we need you more than ever.”

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