Freedom Of Thought In Higher Education

An Iowa State University professor recently threatened dismissal to any student who disagreed with her.

And THAT is the problem with public higher education.

Chloe Clark, professor at Iowa State (who can also be found at chloenclark.com )  was not shy about telling her students that they had to think exactly how she wanted them to think. To start the new school year, she passed out the course syllabus started with a headline of ‘GIANT WARNING’ (all caps and bold). She went on to warn that any person who wrote a paper or expressed views that were against abortion, spoke badly about the organization ‘Black Lives Matter’ or a somewhat lengthy list of other issues, would be immediately dismissed from the class.

Clearly, her desire was not to develop thinking skills or to have students examine the pros and cons of any particular issue but to repeat to her what she wanted them to repeat.

There was a time when institutions of higher learning encouraged exploring different ideas and using critical thinking skills to debate and come to a personal conclusion. But the “Woke” left discourages debate. They scream about ‘tolerance’ but are the height of intolerance and they have become the new fascism. And that is a real problem when that comes out in public universities. Taxpayer funded education should not be used to promote values contrary to free speech and freedom of political expression. Aside from the radical ideas of Prof. Clark, her practices are dictatorial and go against the very core of American and democratic values.

 

And as an additional note, it is very odd to Thinking Man that university administrators complain loudly when state government’s cut funding for higher education but, as smart as they are, they can’t seem to make the connection that allowing practices like this and people like Chloe Clark to be paid at taxpayer expense is probably a good part of the reason.

As a first step in addressing problems like this, we should consider doing away with the practice of granting tenure at universities. Tenure, where professors basically are guaranteed a job for life unless they commit a crime or some grave offense, is part of the reason that some academics feel they can do things like demand only one point of view in their class. That needs to end.

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