The Corner

Politics & Policy

The College Politicization Problem (As Seen by the Chronicle)

The Chronicle of Higher Education is a part of the leftist cabal that has taken over nearly all of our higher education system. In a recent essay, it complained about the politicization of public institutions. Naturally, its complaint was that in some states, conservatives have dared to fight back against leftist control, the right and proper state of affairs.

In today’s Martin Center article, Jay Schalin ponders this.

He writes, “Politicization is indeed a major governance problem, as the report suggests. However, it is not, as the authors claim, a recent phenomenon resulting from Republican dominance in state politics, the Tea Party movement, and the surge in conservative populism. It is instead a longstanding pattern that has been gradually increasing for over a century. The recent resurgence of Republican, conservative, or traditionalist involvement in higher education governance is not a cause, but an effect of politicization. It is the result of pre-existing political partisanship and extremism.”

Schalin concentrates on the situation here in North Carolina. The Chronicle is upset because Republicans have supposedly warped the UNC system through a Board of Governors that no longer rubber stamps whatever the leftist academics want. It even ousted a system president, a liberal Democrat, who had clashed with the Board and stayed past the usual five years. Oh, how awful to have replaced him.

Schalin sums up the problem this way: “Even though most American colleges and universities were set up with boards in firm control, and even though boards still have considerable statutory or chartered authority, over time they have been reduced to rubberstamp committees, booster clubs, and donation-based ATMs. This has allowed the faculty and administrators to push their agenda—and it has indeed been political.”

But to push back against that — well, that’s “politicizing” higher education.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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