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March 19, 2012 08:45 PM UTC

Conservative Affirmative Action, Bruce Ben$on Style

  • by: Colorado Pols

A long-time dream of GOP kingpin-turned-University of Colorado President Bruce Benson has finally been realized, as the Associated Press reports via the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

Officials at the University of Colorado at Boulder–long considered a stronghold of liberal thought — say $1 million in donations will fund a series of conservative guest scholars.

The Daily Camera reports CU first unveiled plans in 2007 to establish a “Visiting Chair in Conservative Thought and Policy,” an endowment that would require $7 million to $9 million to establish. But the economy forced the university to scale back those plans and run a pilot program to bring visiting scholars to the campus for at least three years.

We noted the original push for a “conservative studies” professor from newly-appointed CU President Benson back in 2008. If you’ve followed the long debate–not really so much a debate as a talking point for Republicans–over “academic freedom” on college campuses, you might find it curious that conservatives who have been arguing against “bias in the classroom” have decided that the solution to their problem is…institutionalizing bias in the classroom!

One might argue they were on more defensible ground as conservatives before they embarked on a program of “affirmative action” for conservative college professors. We’ve heard, though, that their eloquent case tends to devolve into a rant about Ward Churchill pretty quickly.

Bottom line: once a Republican becomes school president, points of view tend to change.


12 thoughts on “Conservative Affirmative Action, Bruce Ben$on Style

  1. Which is it, Pols? Do you support affirmative action or don’t you?

    I don’t believe this is affirmative action. I believe that CU will select scholars who are completely qualified to teach there, and I support giving students a choice beyond the liberalism that dominates academia. No one disputes that academia is dominated by the left, we just disagree on the reason. I don’t think it’s because conservatives are discriminated against, I think we just choose jobs in the real world.

    But it’s clear that Pols think this is affirmative action, and doesn’t like it. Who is the hypocrite now?

    1. I don’t believe this is affirmative action. I believe that CU will select scholars who are completely qualified to teach there

      What you’re saying is that students admitted under affirmative action aren’t qualified.

      Pardon me, but your bigotry is showing.  

      1. But affirmative action EXISTS to provide opportunity to those who are not qualified. You say it’s due to historical factors and/or racism. Opponents of racial preferences (like me) say getting rid of affirmative action is the only way to bring about true equality. Trying to solve inequality by positive feedback of more inequality hasn’t worked.

        1. But affirmative action EXISTS to provide opportunity to those who are not qualified.

          In very competitive situations, like say admission to Harvard, there are many more qualified applicants than spots available for admission. I suspect that we can actually agree on that (that might be a first). Anecdotally, I hear stories of kids with 4.0 GPAs getting turned down for admission to selective schools.

          At the same time, these schools are admitting legacies with, shall we say, less than stellar credentials (coughBushcough). I’d be willing to wager that, as a group, affirmative action admittees have better credentials than legacies.

          As for

          historical factors and/or racism

          I think you’re beating on a strawman. It’s much more a matter of socioeconomic environment. It’s really hard to get a good education in  shitty school in the inner city. You have to work harder to achieve the same success. Affirmative action just recognizes what’s glaringly obvious: the playing field is not level.

    2. Because “C.U. will select [conservative] scholars who are completely qualified to teach there.” Anyone who understands the concept of affirmative action understands this falls in that category.

      As to is it a good idea, I think so. Diverse viewpoints are a good idea on a college campus.  But I do think those who oppose affirmative action should oppose this as a clear case.

  2. This dude (and it will be a dude if it isn’t Mona Charen) is going to get schooled.

    There’s a reason conservatives don’t hang on campus, it’s because their bullshit arguments get crushed by people with actual intellects.

    And I like the thought of GOPers defending affirmative action!

  3. UNC had a Monfort Distinguished Scholar of Business. It was an endowed chair, funded entirely by donations. Supposedly there were supposed to be a series of world-class visiting scholars revolving every 3 years or so. In practice, one dude eventually landed in the position and stayed for over a decade. Even though he was paid through the endowment, his retirement benefits came through the university based on his inflated endowed salary. It ended up being a long-term expense that was more or less thrust on the school– an unfunded mandate.

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