We would be remiss if we didn't circle back to a story we've discussed a few times, the search by the University of Colorado, headed by ex-GOP kingpin and gubernatorial candidate Bruce Benson, for a "visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy." We haven't, as our readers know, had much good to say about this act of "conservative affirmative action," which could also be considered an attempt to shoehorn ideology into our state's flagship campus that just hasn't demonstrated the intellectual rigor to be there.
But as the Boulder Daily Camera reports and we must concede, they've actually found an intriguing candidate.
Steven Hayward, a "green conservative," will be the University of Colorado's first visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy.
Hayward was one of three finalists for the position. On Wednesday, CU announced his appointment, which will begin in the fall.
In an interview, Hayward said he'd like to teach a course on "free market environmentalism." He'll also teach political science courses on constitutional law and American political thought. Hayward said he would like to co-teach a lecture with a professor who has liberal leanings.
Dr. Steven Hayward is a former F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the arch-conservative American Enterprise Institute, and a distinguished fellow at Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio. Discussions with people who know this man don't tell us that liberals will agree with him, but he is an intellectually capable and honest thinker who really might enrich students' education. We found a very interesting talk from Dr. Hayward on the AEI's website, titled "How to think seriously about the planet: The case for an environmental conservatism." You may not agree with all of it, but it's definitely worth watching:
As we've said, the privately-funded "visiting professor in conservative thought" seems to be a hypocritical response to the frequent charge of ideological bias leveled against higher education by the right–that, or at the very least, an admission something as antithetical to modern conservatism as affirmative action may sometimes have a role.
In this case, our disapproval may be complicated by the fact that they recruited an actual worthy scholar.