John Leo and Don Downs on the University of Delaware Case

November 27, 2007

There has been a lot of great coverage of the University of Delaware case, but I want to draw special attention to two important articles over at Minding the Campus. First is Don Downs’ article, which asks, “Where Was The Faculty?” In his article Don explores the role of administrators in creating the program and the complicity of faculty in allowing it to happen. Don writes about his institution, the University of Wisconsin, “Other than the speech codes—which the faculty abolished after giving the measures a second look in the late 1990s—the major threats to free thought at Wisconsin have arisen from programs pushed by professionals who have not spent a lot of time teaching and researching, or have turned away from teaching and researching to pursue administrative careers.”
Meanwhile, John Leo asks, “Where Are The News Media?”  In his article John writes extensively about The Chronicle of Higher Education’s coverage of the program: 

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a good publication that has been moving, ever so slowly, toward telling the truth about the campus diversity obsession, ran an article in its November 16 edition that I consider wildly dishonest. (Headline: “U. of Delaware Abandons Session on Diversity.”  Lead: “The [U]niversity of Delaware spent years refining its residence-life education program. One week of public criticism unraveled it.”) Obvious impression left: a wonderful well-honed program has been unraveled by hotheaded critics. The article said: “The conflict shows the difficulty of promoting meaningful discussion outside the classroom…” And then later: “In an era when colleges may view students as customers to keep happy, how many are willing to make their students uncomfortable in the name of learning, even for a few minutes.” The Chronicle, apparently influenced by the programmers, wants readers to think those touchy students couldn’t take a few moments of discomfort. In fact, it was relentless programming and indoctrination, week after week.

Thanks to John and Don for keeping the pressure on University of Delaware and helping keep the record straight.

Schools:  University of Delaware