An article in today’s Denver Post reports that the philosophy department at the University of
Colorado-Boulder has been criticized by an independent investigation for “pervasive sexual harassment and bullying”; leading to the department chairman being reassigned (but not fired!) and the suspension of graduate student admissions for at least a year.
CU-Boulder is a bastion of liberal/progressive thought as everyone knows. For the university to receive a report of this nature speaks to more than just the misdeeds of one particular department, it is an indictment of the core liberal philosophy that it embodies.
Liberals and progressives are all in favor of tolerance and social justice – or so they say. In practice, they do not demonstrate much tolerance for ideas, concepts and philosophies that are different from theirs. From speech codes to protesting, heckling and assaulting conservative speakers, most public universities today are known for being hostile to conservative/libertarian principles and people.
Liberals and progressives accuse the right of a “war on women”. They say hateful things about those who oppose abortion, especially late term abortion, and demand that men emasculate themselves in all dealings with women. Their persecution of conservative women is inexcusable. While boorish behavior, unwelcome flirting and sexual harassment are certainly not acceptable behaviors especially in an academic or work environment, the left insinuates that they are strictly practiced by right-leaning men.
People of both parties seem to have a penchant for inappropriate behavior. The left excoriates right-leaning people who behave poorly while excusing prominent Democrats for exactly the same behavior. One only needs to think about Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, and others to see this hypocrisy in action.
The report describes the following eight major problems in the philosophy department:
1. An environment of sexual harassment and sexualized unprofessional behavior.
2. Lack of civility, collegiality and respect for members of various groups.
4. Lack of boundaries and professionalism.
5. Lack of transparency regarding disciplinary processes, procedures and outcomes.
6. Lack of faculty trust in university judicial institutions, practices and procedures.
7. Lack of transparency in the administration of the graduate program.
8. Lack of leadership.
Much of this behavior was documented to take place while faculty and students were socializing after hours often including heavy drinking, which shows an astounding lack of judgment on the part of university professors – highly paid thought leaders – who should absolutely know better.
When it comes to liberals as bullies, I can attest to this from my personal experiences with online debates, witnessing legislative debates, watching TV news and books documenting the subject. Stories about liberals bullying others in a college setting include:
- A seminar put on by Republicans interrupted by a liberal f-bomb throwing professor,
- The author of the book Bully in the Ivory Tower reports that 62% of higher education professionals report workplace bullying
- Protesting conservative speakers. The hatred leveled against conservative speakers is so bad that they have bodyguards when they visit universities.
- Throwing things at conservative speakers. Examples include throwing tomatoes at Sarah Palin; throwing pies at Ann Coulter and William Kristol (note how the Daily Kos applauds this crime of assault).
- Shouting down conservative speakers.
- Many news sources have commented on how few conservative speakers are invited to address commencement ceremonies.
While it may be possible that sometime, somewhere, a liberal speaker has been physically or verbally assaulted by conservatives, it is far less prevalent than the other way around.
The philosophy department if a major university is the keeper of its intellectual and moral core values. Philosophy, after all, represents the most basic beliefs and attitudes of a particular individual, group or institution. For CU-Boulder to be the recipient of a report of this nature is a stunning indictment of the liberal/progressive viewpoint this university has espoused and promoted for the past several decades.
It is also not at all surprising. I believe it speaks to the moral vacuum and intellectual bankruptcy of the liberal/progressive movement in America today. Until our public, taxpayer supported colleges and universities cease to be hotbeds of political correctness and intolerance, our country will continue on its current path of decline.
I suggest that the CU Boulder philosophy department fire the deposed chairman and undertake a comprehensive review of itself. I encourage CU Boulder to embrace diversity by hiring more conservative professors and encouraging conservative students to participate fully in the life of the philosophy department and the university as a whole.
In other words, Cura te ipsum.
By Richard D. Turnquist
February 1, 2014