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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quarantining Conservatives?

The Manhattan Institute article on quarantining campus leftists looks like a brilliant idea:

Here’s the plan. Create a brand new school, perhaps named the School of Oppression Studies (SOS) staffed with all those sharing the PC vision. Pay them a few thousand extra to entice relocation. The especially loony might be given high-sounding titles to encourage migration—“Benedict Arnold Professor of White American History.” The usually tough issue of tenure will be solved by permitting them to carry over tenure in an already established department (this is a common academic and perfectly safe arrangement). PC professors will now have their own building, support staff, graduate students and even a honey pot to invite friends for lectures, sponsor conferences, travel, journal subscriptions and all the usual academic perks. The School could also fund ideologically sympathetic journals where faculty members can receive academic credit (i.e., salary increases) for their obtuse raving and ranting.

………

Since none of these SOS courses are required, and all will be instantly recognized for their empty calories agitprop content, enrollments will be modest, far less than what these PC professors would have drawn in their home department’s required courses. I’d further guess that offering will quickly gain a Mickey Mouse reputation and their very appearance on a transcript might be the kiss of death for graduate study. After all, these SOS professors know that grades are “arbitrary” and just sustain societal unfairness while lowering self-esteem while larger enrollments (even if students skip class) mean bigger budgets and greater opportunities to proselytize. SOS professors will preach to an ever shrinking choir, if the choir bothers to attend class (and fewer will even do the reading). 

This makes so much sense that I wondered what would happen if the Other Side tried a similar tactic. I then realized that think tanks just might a matter of quarantining conservatives. They have all the trapping of academia except for the most essential one: training students. The Other Side doesn't support think tanks financially, of course. They support them with publicity. I suspect a think-tank researcher with un-PC opinions might become far better known (from denunciations, of course) than a professor with similar ideas.

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