By Ben Velderman
SACREMENTO, Calif. – Many Americans think the nation’s public universities have been reduced to little more than indoctrination centers where teenagers and twenty-somethings are trained to become good little progressive Democrats, fluent in the catechism of the left.
Leave it to California’s political leaders to think institutions of higher learning don’t lean far enough to the left.
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee reports that a new bill would require the California State University system to consider a professor’s record of liberal political “service” in any hiring, promotion or tenure decisions. Currently, only a professor’s teaching and research practices are considered when universities make personnel decisions.
“The specifics of Assembly Bill 2132 appear to give great weight to political, or at least semi-political, activities favored by the left,” Walters reports. “They include, in the words of a legislative bill analysis, ‘developing programs for underserved populations’ and ‘outreach programs developed to promote cultural diversity in the student body.’”
The bill was introduced “at the behest of the California Faculty Association and the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies” because some faculty members have complained that their service work has not been properly recognized by their university during promotion or tenure reviews, Walters writes.
He warns that if “service” activities are “equated with teaching or research,” it might wind up making political activism a job requirement for future educators.
A U-T San Diego editorial was more direct: “If tenure can be gained for political work, expect a huge spike in complaints about ideological indoctrination on CSU campuses.”
One of two things seems to be happening with this ludicrous bill: Either left-wing professors feel inadequate in their teaching and research abilities and need their “service” work considered to successfully climb the ladder, or these leftists are simply seeking to enshrine their political bias in state law. Either way, the quality of California’s university system will suffer.
The bill is currently sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature.