Phi Beta Cons

Your Kind Ain’t Welcome Here

A while back, the Wall Street Journal ran the letter below from a retired Air Force officer on the way he was vetoed by the faculty senate at an Ivy League university. I think it tells us a lot about the way the “liberal” professoriate looks at anyone who is perceived as ideologically different. How accomplished a scholar one might be doesn’t matter if he’s perceived as conservative. The letter:

John Hasnas’s “The One Kind of Diversity Colleges Avoid” (op-ed, April 1) is a sad reminder of an experience I had when I retired from the Air Force. I had been the president of the Air Force Institute of Technology and sought a second career in a similar position. My wife and I were invited for a three-day interview process at one of the Ivy League universities. I met with the university president, senior staff and all of the college deans as part of the process. On the evening of the third day, my host congratulated me on being selected and told me that they were looking forward to my joining the faculty. Less than a week later, the business school dean called me to say, apologetically, that my appointment had been withdrawn. The faculty senate had vetoed my hiring because, “there was no place on a liberal university faculty for a former senior military officer.” Even though diversity wasn’t an announced college objective more than two decades ago, the bias against supposed conservatives was well established.

Richard J. Toner

Brigadier General, USAF (Ret.)

Colorado Springs, Colo.

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

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