Phi Beta Cons

Postulating Program Statements and Case Studies

On May 4 Mark said that campus bias has been “postulated in the wrong places…specific events and actions” and that the intellectual pluralism movement should instead concentrate on “programs and departments [that] make an ideological belief definitive of responsible academic conduct.”

 

He is quite right that the mission/vision statements of these programs need to be exposed. However, he should not write off the “case studies” approach, which also qualifies as valid evidence. The public needs to be better informed about cases of bias against students and faculty, and the latter need to be encouraged to come forward. In this regard I recently drew attention to the endorsement by Bowdoin College’s student government, which supported the creation of an “Academic Bias Incident Group.” Such measures are necessary because colleges and universities themselves are not usually forthcoming about incidents involving bias.

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