NTF issue paper: EdmonII.10.doc. 9-17.

Like too many other college campuses, for too long, Nebraska university and college campuses have percolated as leftist indoctrination centers for our youth. Although liberal college administrators and faculty deny this fact or disclaim knowledge of leftist bias, flagrant examples abound. Liberal professors mock conservative students and downgrade their work. They use their tenured positions to propagandize our young people into becoming budding leftists, like themselves, sometimes subordinating their classroom content in favor of political polemics. Nebraska taxpayers fund our institutions of higher education, currently the second highest consumer of state tax dollars. Parents pay exorbitant tuition rates to fund the salaries and benefits of faculty and staff. Long past due is the time for our university regents to demand that university administrators reform the current abhorrent situation and demand that faculty and staff educate, not indoctrinate, their students.

A UN-L English professor and teaching assistant screamed at and otherwise harassed and bullied a young conservative coed standing at a table promoting a conservative group on campus, a national organization that champions capitalism and exposes socialism. It promotes free markets and limited government. She manned a table holding stickers and other materials criticizing socialism. Tabling is a common term for student organizations on campus setting up a table to discuss a group and recruit new student members. Her detractors screamed that she was a fascist, white nationalist, and KKK member. The assistant, Courtney Lawton, a Ph.D student and lecturer, flipped her the finger and called her a sex deviate. While making obscene gestures, the assistant loudly accused her of plotting to destroy public schools and universities and of hating illegal alien children. A university employee, piling on, ordered her to move her table, as it was supposedly not in a “free speech zone,” had no required reservation, and was distributing “propaganda.” (And we thought that the entire university was public space!) Campus police then assured her that she had a right to remain there with her table. Shocked and scared by the poster-waving staff screaming cuss words at her, she began to cry. Later, campus cops escorted her away from the area for her own safety and courteously escorted her home. This sordid incident has a happy ending. She returned the next week with her Turning Point USA table, signing up over 100 students. The leftist attempt to silence her failed. At UN-L today, if you disagree with leftist faculty, you are a Nazi or fascist. View the harassing video: https://www.campusreform.org/Video/.

A few years ago UN-L Prof. Robert Aguirre entered his classroom and told his students that Republicans would destroy the nation, that they should suffer quarantine and removal from society. His students feared to write assignments that might anger him and earn them lower grades, but students identified as GOP suffered discrimination and name-calling. This prof showed videos claiming conservative bias at Fox News and anti-Iraq war propaganda. At last count, 11 political science profs were registered Dems, 0 registered Republicans. The Philosophy Department shows one Republican among 15 faculty members. The English Department has one Libertarian and one Republican among 43 faculty members. In History, 25 Dems and 4 Republicans. In Sociology, 21 Dems and 1 Republican. On the UN-L campus, Dem faculty outnumber the GOP 3-1. One Dem poly sci prof produced a study claiming that liberals seem more attracted to the development of the mind. In 2014, Poly Sci Dept. head Gruhl told students in his “Presidency” class that former Vice President Dick Cheney “gave us a black eye around the world” and that he was “the driving force behind some of the biggest mistakes in the Bush Administration.” He dressed up as Cheney in an orange dress and mask at Halloween and pretended to shoot up his class. Gruhl blamed Cheney for wiretapping American citizens and the Bush tax cuts for the huge government deficit. This prof had a history of portraying conservative officeholders negatively in his class lectures. The lopsided majority of Dems on the faculty stifles opportunities for conservative students to learn impartially. The imbalance is most noticeable in the humanities and social sciences. NE higher education evidences increasing intolerance of conservative viewpoints in the classroom. Students believe they must agree with the professor political viewpoint to earn a good grade. Referring to problems with reverse discrimination or gender inequality are particularly prohibited in college classrooms. A research paper authored by UNL Prof. John Hibbing and his colleagues contends that political conservatives have a “negativity bias,” meaning they are physiologically more attuned to negative (threatening, disgusting) stimuli in their environments. Their arguments propose that conservative ideology that centers on a strong military, tough law enforcement, resistance to immigration, and widespread availability of guns, seems suited for an underlying, threat-oriented biology.

A previous vice-chancellor of student affairs boasted that UNL has a vigorous free speech policy, that it permits faculty to speak freely about their curriculum based on subject taught. He reaffirmed that universities should serve as sites for discussion of issues. The deans of the colleges of Journalism and Arts and Sciences claim that faculty members should stimulate discussion of political issues by illustrating both viewpoints. The administration expects faculty members to discuss politics without forcing their own opinions on students. Professors supposedly must guide discussion and debate, not force their biases on students. However, the U. has no policy on political discussions in the classroom or monitoring. Campuses have no policies covering political biases in the classroom. Conservative students frequently accuse faculty members of breaching the unstated code, opportunities for debate stifled. Professors seek an exemption from impartiality by hiding behind their Ph. Ds and tenure. Too many classes disregard conservative views of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional integrity. UNL poly sci classes overly emphasize government solutions and government interventionism. Outright partisanship among its liberal faculty likewise suppresses conservative students. The English Dept. publicized sad statements after Trump won his election. English faculty displayed partisan banners on dept. windows. Administrator efforts to protect conservative thought in this quagmire of leftists seems ineffective. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green described free speech on campus as a challenge. The U. recently suspended a UNL fraternity for supposedly yelling vulgar words at a leftwing women’s march strutting past the fraternity house. The fraternity contends its suspension actually resulted from its championing President Trump. However, black Husker football players who disrespectfully kneeled during our National Anthem played at Northwestern U. and refused to respect our Flag earned no sanctions. Both Green and U. President Hank Bounds defended their right to peacefully protest. A welcoming to campus speech by Green informed new students that UNL would not tolerate “words and actions of hate and disrespect,” that a belief in diversity and inclusion is vital and “non-negotiable.” Empty words.

The CEO of Chick-fil-A restaurant chain is a proud supporter of traditional marriage. After 722 of 1,222 UNK students voted for this restaurant to locate in their student union, a leftist group griped about its corporate values and policies. Cowering under pressure, the UNK student government re-issued its poll, without Chick-fil-A as a choice. The restaurant does not engage in discrimination and respects every customer with dignity. In reality, the student council itself discriminated against a business for having conservative Christian corporate officials.

UNO hosted a workshop for “anti-racist allies” to develop “action plans” that confront conservatives, a workshop inspired by Prof. Tammie Kenney in her book “Rhetorics of Whiteness.” She led a discussion on “taking action against white supremacy.” A UNL inclusive language program claims that the greeting “Hey guys” is too offensive for college students and perpetuates gender bias, reinforcing the idea of a male-centric society. Also discouraged are the words “retarded,” “rape” and “crazy,” the latter which supposedly may sadden students with mental disorders. This effort began in January with the “Think Before You Speak” campaign, posters splattered around campus and T-shirts. Effort sponsors included the university multicultural center, women’s center, and LGBTQA resource center. UNL discourages students from using terms like “man up,” which supposedly reinforces masculine stereotypes, also the word “ghetto,” because it may offend minorities. To publicize its program, the U. invited a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter group to speak. In Nov. 2016, UNL students hosted a Black Lives Matter rally, and the then chancellor hurried his response, caving in to their demands and outlining additional efforts to increase reverse discrimination for faculty and staff hiring.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education assigned “yellow light” status to UNL. Such designated institutions have policies that restrict an amount of protected expression, such as banning posters, policies that administrators can use to restrict free speech. This ambiguous policy encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.

Nebraska universities should provide free inquiry of political ideas on campuses. A university obligation should provide competing viewpoints, so that students can absorb perspectives from all sides and make up their own minds. Lobby your university regent to implement an Academic Bill of Rights. Lobby your state senator to introduce a bill for such. This list should enumerate principles that NE colleges and universities should follow, such as considering various political beliefs in making tenure decisions, selecting reading lists for courses, and selecting campus speakers. Needed is a specific process to handle campus complaints about bias and steps taken to guarantee intellectual freedom in classes and faculty recruiting. Specific prohibition with specific penalties against political discrimination against students and staff. Student fees distributed among campus student groups regardless of viewpoints. The Bill would prohibit the following:
• Requiring readings or texts that relate only one side of an issue.
• Introducing controversial material unrelated to the subject.
• Gratuitously singling out political or religious beliefs for ridicule.
• Faculty using their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or anti-religious indoctrination.
• Forcing students to express a particular point of view in assignments.
• Conducting political activities in class (e.g., recruiting for demonstrations).
• Using university funds to hold slanted, partisan teach-ins or conferences.
Other requirements:
• Students graded only on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
• Faculty hired, terminated, and promoted on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise in order to foster a plurality of methodologies and perspectives.
• No faculty hired, fired, or denied promotion on the basis of political or religious beliefs.
• Though teachers are and should feel free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.
• End the tenure system entirely, so that administrators can more easily terminate offending employees.
• Universities and colleges should provide an environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas. No obstruction of invited campus speakers, destruction of campus literature, or other effort to obstruct free expression.

Parents should consult the Turning Point USA list of offending faculty members before sending their children to college. The list also will prepare students to debate offending professors in their classes. Look up professor voter registration records and use that information to lobby your university regents for more conservative educators.

Taxpayers can take action in several ways. Pressure university regents to pass resolutions and state senators to pass legislation protecting students and professors from political discrimination. Call the UNL Office of the Chancellor at 402-472-7211 to demand the immediate termination of the faculty members who harassed the young conservative. Contact Turning Point USA, an organization that has compiled a watch list of leftist offending faculty who assume radical positions and muzzle and discriminate against conservative students and request that they add the names of the 2 miscreants who harassed the UN-L coed: http://tpusa.com/
Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 9-17. C.

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