As the Boulder Daily Camera's Brittany Anas reports, the recent appointment of the University of Colorado's new "visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy," Dr. Steven Hayward, still hasn't satisfied Republican members of the Board of Regents–who are again calling for more "affirmative action" by university departments to attract more conservative faculty.
"Like it or not, the University of Colorado — particularly the Boulder campus — has a reputation for being a liberal campus," said CU Regent Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, during the regents' monthly board meeting. "It is true that so-called conservative scholars are just not welcome at the University of Colorado. That's a problem."
…[CU student government vice president Tyler] Quick, during the regents' discussion, told the board, "I would challenge the assumption that all Boulder faculty are somehow commies." That statement drew criticism from Regent Sue Sharkey, R-Windsor, who responded: "I didn't find the humor. It diminishes the case we're trying to make."
…Regent Steve Bosley, R-Broomfield, prefaced his comments by saying that he isn't referring to political diversity amongst the faculty, but, rather, philosophical balance. He said if the majority of faculty in a program hold the same view on a topic, the university should seek to have representatives of the opposing viewpoint. [Pols emphasis]
Regent Steve Bosley's "recommendation" perfectly identifies the problem with the effort to artificially increase the number of conservative faculty at the University of Colorado. If a majority of faculty in a program "hold the same view on a topic," is that in itself proof of a lack of "opposing viewpoints"–or is it that the "opposing viewpoints" cannot withstand academic rigor? Also, have they looked at the business department? This seems to be more about GOP problems with certain humanities (say, history) than it is about the CU faculty as a whole.
Bottom line: it's one thing to attempt to foster a climate of "ideological diversity" where there are legitimately differing scholarly opinions. The choice of Dr. Steven Hayward to the privately funded "visiting conservative scholar" position is one, as our readers know, that we have noted favorably–despite our dim view of the entire premise of the program that brought him to the University.
Dr. Hayward's appointment at least can be justified on the merits of his scholarship. Hayward in no way justifies preferential treatment for "more" conservative professors simply for the sake of having them. Conservatives are just not an historically disadvantaged class of people, folks–and the suggestion they are underscores how fundamentally silly this endless whining for more right-wing professors really is.