AAUP PRESIDENT CARY NELSON DEBATES DAVID HOROWITZ (March 2007)
"Political Indoctrination and Harassment on Campus: Is there a Problem?"
Continued from previous page
CARY NELSON: Scott, since you brought up the AAUP I think I should say something briefly about some of the comments David has made about the AAUP in his book Indoctrination U.
David suggests that the AAUP has been taken over by a kind of radical agenda and he cites some of our recent decisions on Middle East issues as evidence of that. I’ve been involved in those decisions. I’ve also been extremely proud of their evenhandedness.
When there was an effort by a subset of a British academic union to boycott Israeli universities, the AAUP took a firm stand against the boycott of any academic institutions and specifically decried the effort to boycott Israeli universities. In the end, the British universities, the British union dropped its campaign to boycott Israeli universities.
At the same time, a few months later, the Israeli Army took a position barring Palestinian students from being able to freely attend Israeli universities. We took a stand opposing the Israeli Army's position and argued that Palestinian students should be free to attend Israeli universities, and the Israeli Supreme Court later backed that decision and also rejected the Army's position.
When a professor of engineering at the University of South Florida, Sami Al-Arian, was reported to have Palestinian fundraising - terrorist fundraising - connections in newspapers, but there were no charges levied against him, we flew down to the University of Florida because the University of Florida president announced that she was going to fire him summarily without any due process, without any review by a faculty committee, and that she was simply going to do it single-handedly. We convinced her to put him on paid leave.
Eventually he was indicted. He was cleared by a jury on most of those charges. We had no position. But we did take an absolute position on academic freedom that he should receive due process.
As for my view of Sami Al-Arian’s statements, I thought they were loathsome. And had he been convicted of the crimes for which he was indicted, I would have said lock him up and throw the key away. But he deserved, like all Americans, a judgment that he was innocent until proven guilty; and like all tenured faculty members, he deserved to be judged by a committee of his peers.
The AAUP on a whole series of Middle Eastern issues has acted on the basis of absolute, unvarying principle, and I am tremendously proud of what we’ve done. We have, in effect, voted on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it’s damn hard to find any group in the world that manages to do that.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: As the time continues to run, let’s make sure we get to some audience questions.
QUESTION: My question is, assuming that all the anecdotal evidence and at least one poll that I’ve seen is true, and a vast majority of professors in our country are left-wing and many are far-left-wing and very few are right-wing. What can we do to get some balance in education so students get a balanced view of the world, which seems to be so important when we’re talking racial quotas, and if we could put 1% of the effort into balancing ideological balance in our universities.
I would like to ask this of both panelists.
CARY NELSON: Look, there are problems with the poll. First of all, it focused on elite universities which are probably more likely to have progressive faculty. Community colleges were left out. Junior colleges were left out, which typically have more conservative faculty.
It also ignored disciplines like business, which don’t tend to be stocked with a lot of left-wing radicals teaching corporate law and corporate procedure to their students. So it would be interesting to find out more information about that. We’d need a much larger, more comprehensive survey to find out.
However, I’m sorry to say that my experience over 40 years in higher education is that most faculties are extremely reluctant to let their students know what their political opinions or positions are. I know where most people in this audience stand, but I find that most faculty are in fact relatively cowardly about expressing their political positions openly in the classroom.
QUESTION: I thought you just said earlier that they do express their opinions and you welcome that.
CARY NELSON: I welcome it when they do, but I find that most faculty do not. I’m not insisting that they do. It’s really their decision, one way or another. But I find that the percentage of faculty who are willing to acknowledge their political positions openly in the classroom is very, very small.
That’s one of the reasons why, even if you did a survey that was accurate and comprehensive and let you know how many Democrats and how many Republicans were on the faculty, that would not necessarily tell you how much those people were likely to actually express those political opinions in a pedagogical context.
I find most of my colleagues all around the country are very reluctant to do so.
DAVID HOROWITZ: The University, as I said, is a large and complex institution. If you’re going to a business school, If you’re going through a social-work program or if you’re going to medical school, you are paying for a professional training. These parts of the university are very different from the liberal arts faculties in that respect. Medical schools do not teach homeopathy. They don’t teach New Age healing practices. They teach the practice of medicine as a professional discipline. That’s the contract.
Liberal arts faculties are quite different. If they do training, it’s a kind of civic education. On the other hand, they have in their templates wonderful academic freedom statements about teaching students how to think and not telling them what they should be thinking on controversial matters.
This is really a matter of accountability.
I think Professor Nelson is wrong about the political composition of elite universities relative to state schools and community colleges. But any judgment about this – his or mine – is impressionistic.
To answer your question about the disparity on faculties and how to address it, I think it would be a good thing if there was a move on the part of existing faculties to do the same kind of outreach that they do to hire African-American professors, women professors, gay professors and so forth, to do that for people who are culturally conservative or philosophically conservative. I am against affirmative action quotas and don’t think there should be a political litmus. I think remedying this problem will depend on the goodwill of faculty.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: Let’s take another question.
QUESTION: Professor Nelson, my question to you is how can you solve a problem by sweeping it under the rug and denying it, which it seems to be your position, particularly when you claim there’s no political indoctrination in the classroom. Why are you protecting professors from accountability in upholding professional academic standards? Why don’t you join David Horowitz’s effort to protect the institution, instead of denying that a problem exists and sweeping it under the rug?
CARY NELSON: Well, my own university has been willing to take people out of the classroom temporarily and permanently when they don’t feel they’re doing a good job. We deny tenure to people. And when their student evaluations are strongly negative, we have a whole series of processes for surveilling, within reason, classroom conduct and assuring compliance with reasonable good practices. In other words, we have a system that works and I think most serious institutions do have a system that works.
I’ve never wished to say that there are no human abuses. Perhaps a different species on a different planet could make that claim. We can’t make that claim.
The notion of a problem is something that suggests that there is a widespread difficulty that needs to be addressed by instituting different practices and procedures. My own confidence is that universities have procedures in place to deal with faculty bad conduct and that they do so.
At my own institution, one technique is to sometimes punish people in terms of their salaries. We had a physics professor who wasn’t functioning well. We gave him no salary increase for 20 years by the end of which he was earning less than teaching assistants in his department. Perhaps that should have been the punishment for Ward Churchill.
There are lots of things that universities can do if they want to, for if they want to behave responsibly they have systems in place to deal with ethical violations. That's why I don't see the need for external surveillance and I don't see the need for a system different than the one that we have now.
DAVID HOROWITZ: I think there are a lot of people in the television audience going Huh? You might reexamine tenure policies that will keep an incompetent professor in the classroom and on the faculty for 20 years at taxpayer expense, because Professor Nelson is teaching at a taxpayer-funded university.
I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you, since you obviously have influence at your university, what would you say to inserting in your evaluation forms for teachers a question about their respect for intellectual diversity, their fairness in treating students who disagree with them, have different political views? Or about their professionalism in keeping to the subject matter?
CARY NELSON: Well, we see evaluation forms, first of all, as a way for the faculty member to gain feedback about his or her teaching. So we actually have evaluation forms that have quite a large number of questions available and the faculty member actually gets to choose which questions he or she wants on the form. You get about 35 questions to pick from, questions supplied by the institution and you pick which 35 you want – which you think are most central to you.
There are also some basic questions -- three basic questions -- about the quality of the course, the quality of the instruction, and the relevance of the material. They’re on all forms. But beyond that we let the forms be used for elaborate self-evaluation. Then the departments also get to see them.
So I’m quite comfortable with that mix of a few basic required questions and then a whole series of questions from which you choose the ones you feel are most relevant to your subject matter.
[Editor’s Note: In the previous comment, Cary Nelson is discussing one specific institution and he recognizes that not all institutions function in this manner].
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: Should David's be one of the required questions?
CARY NELSON: No. I don't think so.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: Next question.
QUESTION: I’m Edward Tryon here at the microphone in part because I may be the only other college professor in the room.
I was a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley from 1962 thru 1966, the years of the Free Speech Movement and a leftist takeover of campus unrest.
I was on the faculty at Columbia University from '67 thru '71, including the years when Mark Rudd led a campus takeover. When I didn’t get tenure at Columbia, I moved to Hunter College at the City University of New York where I spent 34 years before a recent retirement.
I learned very quickly in faculty meetings, and I was on the college senate for awhile, that it was worse than futile to question the wisdom of any politically correct policy. I didn’t ever question the goals, the fundamental values and goals of politically correct people. But when I questioned the practicality of any policy it resulted in insults directed at my moral character, and whispering behind my back. The faculty was utterly immune to any deviation from the dominant politically correct position of the day.
In 34 years, there are only two people that I got to know well enough over a period of several years who were also independent. I’m not conservative. I’m an eclectic independent. But I could only reveal a little of my independence gradually. Put my toe in the water to see if a person I saw on a frequent basis might be sympathetic or would attack me.
For 34 years there were only two people I ever came to know well enough that I could speak to freely with an independent mind.
My question is. Do you and I live in parallel universes or what? I don't recognize anything you're saying except that you as an individual seem fair-minded and could be a Santa Claus at Macy’s, but are we in different universes or what?
CARY NELSON: Well, I'm astonished that you only found two people that you could speak to frankly and independently in all of that time because I find that I can do that with most of my colleagues on campus.
I don’t find that I can do it at all kinds of group occasions on campus. I’m opposed to the Iraq war. I don’t go by and large to anti-war rallies or anti-war conversations on campus because there’s not a lot of tolerance for my additional position that I was in favor of the war in Afghanistan and in fact would like to have seen the war in Afghanistan pursued more vigorously. So I don’t go there.
I also wouldn’t go to a Young Republicans’ club meeting on campus and try to voice those same positions. I don’t think that collective discussions on campus tend to be a hell of a lot more rational and fairer and more generous toward differing opinion than collective discussions anywhere else in the world tend to be in the United States or a long list of countries.
When people’s passions are aroused, they don’t tend to be very tolerant of alternative opinion and campuses are no better or worse about that, it seems to me, than most other human gatherings. But certainly over the years I’ve felt free to speak honestly and openly one-on-one to the overwhelming majority of my faculty colleagues and my students. I'm astonished that that hasn’t been the life that you’ve experienced.
DAVID HOROWITZ: First of all, I see tremendous contrast in the way that liberals and leftists are treated at conservative gatherings and the way that conservatives are treated in any liberal context. The Academic Bill of Rights is a front and center topic of discussion at the major professional academic associations. In fact, resolutions have been passed misrepresenting the Academic Bill of Rights and my positions, then condemning them, at the American Historical Association, the Modern Language Association, and the American Library Association. Yet, I’ve never been invited to a single one of these events, to discuss my positions. I actually offered come to the American Federation of Teachers, to discuss these matters. I made a similar proposal to Michael Berube when we had a lunch arranged by The Chronicle of Higher Education. With no takers. I’ll repeat the offer here. I'll come to any left-wing scholarly association to discuss academic freedom. I apologize for referring them as left-wing, but that’s unfortunately what they now are.
They shouldn’t be political at all. My friend, Eugene Genovese, who is a famous historian of slavery, was a Communist who opposed the Vietnam War. In 1970, Genovese fought and lost the critical battle in Organization of American Historians over whether professional associations should take a political position on the war. Genovese said they shouldn’t.
When a professional organization takes a political stance as an association of scholars, it commits scholarship to a political point-of-view. That’s a problem. The atmosphere on faculties has followed suit. It is incredibly intolerant. We know this just by looking at Harvard where 10% of the faculty, radicals, forced the resignation – the first time in the history of the modern research university where this has happened. Summers was a powerful university president and he was a liberal, but he wasn’t politically correct enough to withstand the intolerance of the left, which is why he had to resign.
Sixty percent of Harvard’s faculty sat this one out because of the intimidation. An atmosphere of intense intimidation prevails on university faculties and university campuses. If you speak up against their agendas, the left will punish you. That’s what people feel.
You can argue all you like about whether they should feel that way. But the fact remains: at campuses everywhere there are students and faculty who won’t express their views on certain issues because they feel they will be punished by leftist faculty if they do so.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: We’re going to have one more question from the audience and then we'll let you two offer some concluding remarks.
QUESTION: Thank you. I appreciate it. My name is Ruth Malhotra and I’m a student at Georgia Tech. My question to the professor this. At the end of the day it’s about students. It’s not about page 82 in Mr. Horowitz’s book, with all due respect. We talk about all these other issues. But at the end of the day it’s about us students. We’re trying to go to school and get our degrees and get an education and learn how to express ourselves; and, yes, develop a scholarly approach to the problems facing our country. But the only proactive solution or proposal I heard you make this whole time was that we should take any complaints to the department head. I was wondering if is that the only option that you have to offer. What would you propose that we do as students and what are you willing to do to help us proactively address these problems that undeniably exist.
DAVID HOROWITZ: Let me intervene. Ruth, would you just tell your experience as a public policy major at Georgia Tech.
QUESTION: Sure. I was just a sophomore. I was trying to double-major in international affairs and public policy. The first day of my required Public Policy Foundations class, I was told by my professor that if I attended the conservative action conference in Washington D.C., as I had informed her I intended to do, she would fail me.
I didn’t take her seriously. It was the first day of class. The weeks and months passed. I was an A student but she gave me failing grades on my papers. In class she made derogatory remarks every week. These remarks were towards Christians, towards conservatives, and specifically directed towards me. One day when I tried to speak out in defense of President Bush’s tax cuts, her response was, “George Bush hasn’t done anything for you; he’s too busy pimping for the Christian coalition.” She told me I was not an individual but a member of a minority group.
I had to deal with this. I went to the department. I went to the chairman of the department all the way up, to the administration in filing a grievance. And nothing happened. And, you know, my concern is that I don't want to be seen as a victim, but these problems do exist. David Horowitz is ply raising awareness about this problem that we face. But at the end of the day, what are we supposed to do as students to address these issues? I haven’t heard you offer anything other than “Take it to the department head,” which time and time again has not worked and often only made the situation worse.
CARY NELSON: Well, you know, if you were in fact mistreated, judged on the basis of political opinion then your university, college or university, should have proper procedures for you to seek redress.
The AAUP stands fully against that kind of abuse of academic power and we believe it should be investigated; and when appropriate, rectified and punished. So, you know, ordinarily universities have a series of levels. You first try to negotiate that kind of complaint at the department level because that's supposedly the level where people are most well-informed, they know the faculty member in question, they know whether that person has a history of pedagogical problems or not and they have the most direct means to intervene. And there should be means of appeal if you don't feel you've gotten fair treatment for you to proceed onward and get your injustice rectified.
I have no problem -- and I think obviously that’s a kind of personal complaint where you have to do so with your name attached to it - I do think that departments should be willing to entertain complaints about curriculum and course content, which aren’t attached to the students’ names. In other words, if you have a complaint about what’s taught in a course, then you should be able to have your complaint treated anonymously because it’s a matter of objectivity - it’s a matter of fact what the course content is – so that you shouldn't have to feel the danger of any kind of personal retribution.
QUESTION: Yes, sir, you shouldn’t. But when you have a monolithic administration and a monolithic faculty that are not only actively promoting an unbalanced agenda but at the same time censoring and stifling any viewpoints that don’t agree with theirs, I fail to see how that’s the most effective avenue to address these injustices.
CARY NELSON: If you have an entirely corrupt institution, which is what you’re claiming, then obviously you need to involve parents, alumni, and other kinds of groups in trying to fix that situation. What you’re claiming is that the faculty is corrupt, the administration is corrupt, and there’s no desire to correct injustice throughout a particular campus. I mean, admittedly, I haven’t had that experience. If it exists, then you need to find different means of dealing with it.
DAVID HOROWITZ: What she’s claiming is that there’s a systemic failure, which you’ve denied, and I hope you will reconsider. What happened at Georgia Tech is that I got in touch with Ruth, that I got the governor of the state involved, and his education policy person happened to be a professor who knew about this. This particular professor was just like your physics professor a known problem. Obviously an outrageous abuse like this doesn’t appear out of the blue, but at end of a long line of abuses. I got legislators in the state involved. They got the attention of the president and the university administration.
Ruth by herself could not get them to address this problem. As a result of the intervention of the Academic Freedom Campaign, liberal professors at the university -- and I have always stated and said in The Professors and will say again -- the vast majority of professors are professional. I don't care how they vote in elections, they’re professional in the classroom. They’re scholars. And they’re fair-minded.
But they are intimidated by the activist left, which is what my book, The Professors, was about. The liberal professors, who did not confuse political activism and scholarship, at Georgia Tech convened a forum. One of them called me. They were concerned about Ruth's case. And they met to discuss it and take appropriate steps to rectify it. Of course they didn’t want me involved. I have been so demonized by the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers that association with me would have been the kiss of death.
The offending professor was removed from teaching public policy. Ruth was able to get her money back for the tuition credits and had her withdrawal taken off her record. We also had the assistance of Stephanie Ray whom I visited personally who was the Dean of Diversity.
This is the point. I cannot go running around the country to 6,000 universities or however many there, are dealing with issues like this. Moreover, the case never would have come to anybody's attention if Ruth didn't have the courage to stand up in the first place. Most students just get out of the way.
Because she has stood up at Georgia Tech, Ruth has received a series of death threats and threats of violence, including rape. So far, the administration at Georgia Tech has done nothing to protect her.
I think you are a decent person. I think that you have a good heart. I think that you are concerned about academic matters. I’d just like you to, after this is all over, to consider what has been said here, and to think about it. Let’s open a dialogue about what we can do that won’t be a witch-hunt of professors, which I have never intended or undertaken, that will protect universities but will, in the first place, protect students like Ruth.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: Thanks, David. And thank you for your questions. I'm sorry. We can’t get to all of them. We're going to give each of these gentlemen three minutes to offer some summarizing statements.
CARY NELSON: There’s a larger context for this whole argument and I think it’s that larger context that explains in part the level of funding that’s been devoted to the Academic Bill of Rights and to a series of projects that David has helped initiate over a number of years.
I honestly don’t think he’s had that money because a series of right-wing foundations and donors is deeply concerned about American students, their experiences, their freedom of expression and their rights on campus.
I believe that a series of institutions have in fact been progressively red-baited. First, there was the judicial system. “Liberal judges are trying to interpret the Constitution. Conservative judges just apply it.” “We know the Founding Fathers intended us to own machine guns.” After an aggressive effort to red-bait the federal judiciary, the Senate rolled over and handed the Right the federal judiciary, which is now in possession of conservative judges for at least a generation.
Then there was a large scale effort to red-bait the so-called liberal press. “There's liberal bias in the press. There’s liberal bias in the press.” After a period of time, the press went belly-up and failed to do its job in the lead up to the Iraq war. The claims of “weapons of mass destruction” and Al-Qaeda connections went un-investigated and uncontested. Bush, Cheney and Powell got a free pass for every lie they wanted to tell the American people.
Now in the same way American higher education is being aggressively critiqued and red-baited. Claims are made that the professorate is pervaded by left-wing academics who are pushing a radical agenda. After 40 years in higher education, I can name precious few examples of such people, though there certainly are some and there are some right-wing agendas as well, but I think in many ways the aim is the same. The aim is to take another of our precious democratic institutions, in this case, the best educational system in the world, a system that has thrived because of academic freedom, a system that’s thrived because faculty members can succeed, faculty members can fail, they can make mistakes, and they can correct their mistakes. They exist within collective groups that help them to correct their errors. But they have been free, or at least a lot freer than faculties are in most countries in the world.
I think that this effort has been funded in part to house-break yet another major democratic institution and undercut its ability to train American students to be thoughtful participants in a democracy. To instrumentalize higher education, turn them into job training; take the critical edge out of the classroom, whether it be right-wing or left-wing or anything else. To make the classroom a neutral, decathected space where contested opinion does not get struggled over and debated and reconsidered.
American society needs higher education to be a place of contestation and debate. American society needs students to hear disciplined, thoughtful advocacy - advocacy that's based on research, advocacy that's based on reasoning. They need to hear not just balanced reporting from their faculty members. They need to hear faculty members take passionately held positions and argue them in detail. That's part of the preparation for being a thoroughly informed member of a society that needs to debate its own goals, its own problems, and its own solutions.
The effort to surveil course content and faculty behavior will exact a terrible price from us. The professorate is already frightened enough to begin to withdraw from the terrain of struggle and turn American higher education into something pallid, instrumental, devoted less to the needs of a democracy than to the needs of a corporate workforce.
I would like us to see American higher education remain a field of debate and a field of passionate inquiry. To do so, faculties and universities need to be left alone to police their own procedures.
DAVID HOROWITZ: This shows the problem of excluding conservatives from your academic universe. You deal with your fantasies of what conservatives are instead of conservatives themselves.
The idea that David Horowitz has marching orders from right-wing foundations that tell him how to conduct this kind of campaign is blind to all the realities of the campaign and to who I am. Obviously, I’m not your typical cookie-cutter conservative, and what I do flows directly out of my personal political history and sensibility.
First of all, let me just straighten out this issue of funding.
There are 70,000 individuals who fund me. It is true that I also have funding from two conservative foundations. But compared to leftwing foundations that fund my opponents, these two conservative foundations are very small. The McArthur Foundation, alone, is more than three times their combined size. The Tides Foundation dwarfs them. The Ford Foundation which is more than three times the size of MacArthur is the leviathan in this field, and it is left. So the attempt to explain the kind of national phenomena Cary refers to by a plot of two conservative foundations, as though there were not far larger foundations in opposition, is just absurd.
The two foundations I do get money from are Scaife and Bradley. They amount to less than 10% of my total budget. These are wonderful institutions, and it would probably surprise Professor Nelson to know that they are libertarian in a lot of their instincts, that they respect institutions of higher education and that they fund university programs that are not ideological at all. But even Scaife and Bradley were to disappear overnight, it would take me six months to raise the money to replace theirs by increasing my supporters to 80 or 90 thousand. I would put out a call for help and, believe me, I would get responses. Not the least from the parents of students who have been through these left-wing ideology mills, through which are liberal arts faculties of our major and minor universities.
Let me just say something about the quality of education in our universities. If you take out the physics and medical departments and all the professional schools, all the hard sciences and you just focus on the liberal arts colleges, the intellectual level of American universities has never been lower in its entire history and the intellectual atmosphere has never been more repressive, since the time of Cotton Mather.
Now to the actual facts about the academic freedom campaign.
I don’t remember the date of Dinesh D’Souza’s book, but I know that Roger Kimball’s book was at least 15 years ago. So we’re talking for 20 years since conservatives began complaining about the university. How come the nefarious right-wing foundations didn’t give these marching orders 20 years ago if their design was to take over the universities and reduce them to corporate job production facilities?
I don’t receive a dime in contributions from corporations, and never have. Corporations fund the left. Everybody knows that. The bigger the corporation, the more money is going into the pockets of leftist causes like environmentalism, feminism and Jesse Jackson’s latest shakedown campaign.
Why? Because corporate America is about business. Why did they do business with Hitler Germany? Because it was about business. Why are they doing business with Saudi Arabia which is funding the hate movement against America? Because it’s business. Business people do business. They’re not ideological. Leftists harass them, and so they pay leftists to stop harassing them. That is the secret of the Jackson’s success.
Most of CEOs are quite liberal. Giant American corporations are in the forefront of the corporate diversity movement; environmental awareness is now a corporate value. I have nothing against diversity or the environment, but it’s absurd unless you’re seeing the world through Marxist lenses, that I’m out there turning universities into job creators for my ruling class masters.
This – and everything I do – is, in fact, quite personal as everybody knows who is familiar with my history or has read my work. I was a Marxist at Columbia University in the McCarthy 1950s. My parents were Communists. But even in those troubled times, I was treated fairly by my professors. I wrote Marxist papers but no professor ever said to me in class: “Horowitz, why don’t you explain why Communists like to kill so many people?”
On the other hand, I have had students come up to me who are Christians and conservatives, whose teachers have said in class: “Nathaniel, why do Christians hate fags?” I don’t know what it would have done to my education if my professors had verbally assaulted me because I had an unpopular viewpoint at the time. But I am very grateful in retrospect that they didn’t.
I personally spent 15 or 16 years traveling around university campuses listening to these stories of abuse and trying to figure out what could be done about them without injuring the university as an institution.
For me, the golden age of the universities was when I went to school at Columbia. I would like to see those values revived. Those were schools informed by values that the AAUP developed but has since, shall we say, not been terribly vigorous in defending. I would like to see the kind of university I went to where in four years I never once, not in one class or one time, heard a professor express a political point-of-view. Meaning, never in the tone or with the passion of: “I want you to believe this.” Or, to get a grade, you must believe this.
We all know how you can have a conversation about politics that can be quite genial. And how it can become serious and then ugly as passions get involved. I don't think you can close Pandora’s box and get all political discussion out of the classroom, or even professors’ political opinions out of the classroom. I think the latter would be a good thing - and we'll disagree on this – but it’s not a practical thing that can be done. I would just like to restore the traditional idea that the classroom is a place for academic inquiry not political dogma. Teachers should teach and not preach.
I hope this is the beginning of a new dialogue on this issue. We were here today to debate each other. Let’s continue our conversations and try to see what common ground we can develop and how we can move forward.
I want to thank both of you and Scott Smallwood for coming.
SCOTT SMALLWOOD: Thanks, David. And thank you.