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September 14, 2012 5:22 PM Inappropriately Politicizing Professors

By Daniel Luzer

Right-wing students at the University of Texas-Austin, the UT chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas, are working to create a list of all the professors at the school who are “inappropriately politicizing the classroom.” According to an article in the Daily Texan:

The organization is accepting suggestions from all students and will publish the list for students to consult in advance of Spring 2013 registration, government senior John Horton, Young Conservatives of Texas UT chapter chairman, said. Members of his organization will investigate every name submitted by auditing classes, interviewing students from the professors’ classes and evaluating the syllabus for reading materials selected, he said.
“We’ll get a lot of submissions, but most of them will probably not end up on the list,” Horton said. “You can have a devout, open communist or an open neo-conservative professor that tells you they are openly that way. If they allow for dissenting opinion, that’s perfectly fine with us.”

It’s unclear what criteria they’ll use to decide whether or not someone goes on the list. What does “allow for dissenting opinion” mean, really? Part of the problem is that one man’s “dissenting opinion” is another man’s “inaccurate statement.” Is there such a thing as appropriately politicizing the classroom?

Furthermore, it seems obviously easier to avoid appearing on the list if one teaches, say, Organic Chemistry, than if one teaches Intro to American Government. Political opinions creep into political classes far more often than they do other subject areas.

The organization has published the inappropriately politicizing professors list before, though not since 2007.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • Snarki, child of Loki on September 15, 2012 9:14 PM:

    Furthermore, it seems obviously easier to avoid appearing on the list if one teaches, say, Organic Chemistry, than if one teaches Intro to American Government.

    How about Evolutionary biology? Climatology?

    One could easily see, in such fields, how a politically-inspired opinion could be objectively dead wrong, and not a "matter of opinion", now matter how many delusional conservatives may wish it so.