John Leo

When is the word ?diversity? not tolerated on campus? When someone tries to put the word ?intellectual? in front of it. The debate over David Horowitz?s campaign for intellectual diversity has been raging in Colorado for five months. By spring or fall, the debate may come to an intellectually not-very-diverse university near you. Horowitz, the veteran conservative activist, is promoting an ?Academic Bill of Rights? to protect students and professors from the aggressive leftist mono-culture that dominates campuses today. Though clearly taking aim at the left, Horowitz scrupulously framed the bill in  language that would protect everyone on campus, left and right. The text says, ?All faculty should be hired, fired, promoted and granted tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise,? never on the basis of political or religious beliefs. Stanley Fish, one the best-known professors on the left, says that it?s hard to see how anyone who believes in the distinctiveness of academic work ?could find anything to disagree with here.?

The fairness of the language hasn?t done much to mollify the left, partly because Horowitz unleashed a barrage of statistics to show how lopsided liberal universities are in hiring professors, picking outside speakers, and granting honorary degrees. He says there are 10 Democratic professors for every Republican one, with the disparity rising sharply at many elite universities.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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