Diane Ravitch on Academe Gone Mad?
But what will remain as a problem for our society is the political atmosphere on many American campuses, where zealots like Mr. Churchill are hired and tenured, ever after free to inflict their one-sided rants on their hapless students.
Fortunately, extremist professors are still a rarity in American higher education. They usually turn up in departments of ethnic studies, gender studies, and other departments devoted solely to grievance groups. Such departments were created in the past generation in response to political pressure. The difference between a real academic department and a grievance department is that the former studies its subject critically and dispassionately, considering all sides of controversial issues. The latter, however, indoctrinates students, advocates for a single point of view, and produces turgid propaganda.
It is certainly legitimate to teach courses in history, literature, and the social sciences about specific groups. But those who teach such courses should be hired by regular academic departments and judged by their mastery of their discipline, rather than by their political attitudes.
So long as universities set aside departments controlled by aggrieved activists, there will continue to be professors like Mr. Churchill who are noted more for their propagandizing than for their scholarly accomplishments.