My last lecture

Posted: Jan 03, 2005 12:00 AM
May 2, 2023, 2:00 p.m., EST:

I am so glad that all, well, nearly all of my students showed up today for my last lecture as a college professor. I can hardly believe that it has been 30 years since I started teaching at the university level. It seems like just yesterday that I walked into my first lecture and a student named Patrick Boykin asked if my name was ?Doogie Howser, MD.? I was just 28 then, and too young to consider it a compliment. Although I still talk to Patrick from time to time, he doesn?t call me that anymore.

As you know, things were rough for me for a few years before the revolution really took hold on our nation?s campuses. After I turned away from atheism and liberalism, I began fighting the war on ideological bigotry and intolerance with a small number of supporters. It was a war that no one thought we could win. It was a war that I might not have joined, if I had to go it alone.

Now that we have accomplished nearly all that we set out to accomplish, I find myself looking back in search of a turning point in the revolution. While several points were pivotal, the most crucial turning point came in the fall of 2007. That is when the first state decided, through legislative action, to abolish tenure. When it first happened, I could hardly believe it. Even more shocking was the snowballing effect that would follow. Who would have ever thought that in just six short years, tenure would become a thing of the past in America? As you will recall, California was the last state to abolish tenure in 2013.

The most profound effects of the abolition of tenure occurred indirectly. There were not many professors fired in the wake of that historical national movement. Scores of professors predictably quit, or retired early, in protest. Others simply became more productive overnight. But, more than anything, the number of people seeking jobs in public higher education declined. And that ended up becoming the principal benefit of the abolition of tenure.

When the size of the professoriate shrank, it was not an even reduction across disciplines. In our nation?s Schools of Business and Engineering, for example, there was a small reduction in the size of most departments. But those departments universally reported increases in productivity, despite their smaller size. Within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, there was a similar effect in some departments, like chemistry and physics.

Disciplines like English were hit harder. For years before the movement, English professors were teaching just about everything but English. Many of them were recruited to direct the Women?s Centers, Gay and Lesbian Centers, and other branches of the Office of Campus Diversity. That is why ?creative writing? had to be established as a separate major in the 1990s. The English professors were too interested in tolerance to teach students how to write. They were also unwilling to impose their own standards upon others.

But after the abolition of tenure, English and ?creative writing? had to be merged to handle the shortage of faculty. That is also when many of the diversity offices began to shut down.

A similar thing happened in the so-called social sciences. People stopped majoring in sociology and anthropology because those disciplines were previously set up solely to produce tenured professors. That is about the time that all of the so-called social sciences merged into one department. They were called ?social sciences? until the real sciences of chemistry and physics teamed up to have them renamed ?social philosophy.?

Of course, both the School of Social Work and the School of Education had to be eliminated altogether. That was cause for concern at first because each had its own multi-million dollar facility built with bond money approved by voters during the 1990s. But then we hired our first Chancellor with a business background in the year 2012. Fortunately, he had no previous employment in education. His idea for converting the space was controversial but, ultimately, brilliant.

As many of you know, the old School of Education building is now a parking garage. The School of Social Work building is home to Starbuck?s and a number of other profitable businesses. Trading the salaries of those unproductive liberal ideologues for the leases of those businesses is one reason we no longer have to solicit funds from alumni. We have been in the black for several years.

And, finally, the problems of anti-conservative and anti-Christian discrimination are now a thing of the past. Put simply, we have now learned that over 90% of those problems were being produced by less than 10% of the faculty. Almost all of those ?bad apples? have been rooted out by the abolition of tenure.

Today, we are no longer hearing reports that nearly all of the required student fees are being spent on liberal speakers and ?co-sponsored initiatives? between gay student groups and the Office of Diversity. In addition to the abolition of the Office of Diversity, we are seeing more cautious behavior on behalf of our faculty. People can no longer blindly discriminate, for fear of actually being fired. And, of course, we are hiring fewer bigots in the first place.

January 3, 2005, 6:00 a.m., EST:

Dr. Adams? alarm goes off and he awakes from a pleasant dream. After a shower, two cups of coffee, and 12 more pages of Atlas Shrugged, he kisses his wife goodbye. After he blows a kiss to his Ann Coulter Action Figure, he heads out the door for another semester. To be continued?