Watch: SPP Hosts "Viewpoint Diversity in American Higher Education" with AEI
The School of Public Policy hosted "Viewpoing Diversity in Americn Higher Education," on May 11, 2017, in Washington, DC. Through a partnership with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a panel of academics met to discuss the experience of conservative professors on campus and the role faculty play in addressing the campus political climate.
Claremont McKenna’s Jon Shields began with commentary from his book, Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University (Oxford University Press, 2016). He highlighted the lack of conservative professors in the humanities and social sciences, which is problematic for progressing research and strengthening education. In response, AEI’s Samuel Abrams shared his attempts to foster a competition of ideas in his classroom, including introducing conservative ideas through a historical lens. He argued that the faculty, rather than the students, have shifted hard left.
The conversation that followed touched on a variety of topics. Panelists discussed the prevalence of confirmation bias and the necessity of including all ideas to avoid decline in the quality of research and education. They contemplated the risks of overstating the current campus climate, and they disagreed about whether the campus climate will lead to tangible societal change. In addition, panelists considered the ability of conservative professors to be open about their politics, and they deliberated the danger of the growing association of speech with violence.
Samuel J. Abrams, AEI
Gerard Alexander, University of Virginia
Eliot Cohen, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
James Gimpel, University of Maryland
Samuel Goldman, The George Washington University
Pete Peterson, Pepperdine School of Public Policy