Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spying on Professors Proposed by NAS

The National Association of Scholars announced plans for monitoring campuses, and it's getting some well deserved criticism.

In defense of NAS, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with monitoring what colleges do, and protecting the rights of students and faculty is a good thing. I wish that progressives had some organization that did this, now that NAS, FIRE, Students for Academic Freedom,, and many others are monitoring campuses.

However, what makes the monitoring by NAS wrong is the ideological nature of it. Note how they proclaim that they will be scrutinizing “politicized teaching” or “slights to conservative students.” Neither of these are violations of student rights (and, of course, slights to liberal students will be ignored). Indeed, it is the attempt to banish “politicized” teaching that threatens academic freedom and free speech on campus.

As I argue in my book Patriotic Correctness, it’s time for progressives to form an activist organization that will monitor violations of liberty on campuses (especially the campuses ignored by the right-wing groups), and protect the intellectual freedom of right-wingers, left-wingers, and everyone in between. If you’re interested in helping with this (whether you’re conservative or liberal), please contact me at

No comments: