Fairness, Diversity, and Balance
Ward Connerly writes that there should be a Fairness Doctrine in America: not for broadcasters, but for academia. He's half right: the FCC's Fairness Doctrine is a terrible idea by the left, and there is an analogy to make in academia. After all, if leftists think that broadcasters using the public airwaves should be forced to offer ideological balance, exactly what principle distinguishes that idea from forcing public universities to offer ideological balance? Of course, the same logic applies to the Ward Connerlys of the world, who want to see intervention in academia but not in right-wing broadcasting. Maybe we could all agree to the principle of freedom.
One key misunderstanding by Connerly and other conservatives is the term "intellectual diversity." Connerly claims, "it is widely acknowledged that there is little intellectual diversity among university faculties." This is utterly false. There's plenty of intellectual diversity among faculty, far more than in any other field (such as talk radio). The problem is that there's not intellectual balance. There is a wide range of ideas on college campuses, and wide freedom to express them, but there are not equal numbers of liberals and conservatives. Welcome to the free market of academia.
The solution is simple: conservative leaders must convince young conservatives to give up lucrative careers in law, business, and medicine, in order to pursue academia careers with far worse job prospects and much lower pay; they must convince conservatives to seek out adjunct positions with even worse pay; and they must convince conservative speakers to come to campuses for far less money. Or, the conservative movement must seek a vast expansion in funding for higher education in order to raise salaries up to levels necessary to compete among the intellectual elite. Otherwise, in a free market, the greed of conservatives (which helps them dominate some many other fields) will cause them to abandon academia.