Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Victory for Academic Freedom at Baruch College


Baruch College has silently but decisively altered the disturbing and
doctrinaire language of its freshman reading program study materials.
Yesterday, Charles noted, ACTA issued a press release detailing the
tendentious and ideologically leading questions Baruch is supplying
to teachers and students as they discuss the mandatory freshman reading assignment,
Chris Hedges’s War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. The study
questions were poorly designed, politically motivated attempts to
push students toward particular views of the war in Iraq, the Bush
administration, and the military, and as such they violated one of
the most fundamental tenets of academic freedom: that teachers must
respect the rights of students to learn, and must be wary of
indoctrinating when they should be educating.

President Waldron ignored ACTA’s letter outlining how the study
questions did less to encourage students to think independently than
they did to send the message that a condition of being enrolled at
Baruch is conformity to institutionally endorsed views on some of the
more fraught and controversial issues of our day. But our press
release seems to have done the trick. Baruch’s study questions are
now far more balanced, and far more likely to provoke some genuinely
thoughtful discussion.


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