Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph Blog What the Heck Happened to Academic Freedom? – Dr. Ellen's Blog

What the Heck Happened to Academic Freedom?

Posted on August 17, 2016 By

Marxist radicals have so thoroughly infiltrated American campuses today that I find it impossible to trust the research and writings that come from those once hallowed halls of learning.

In fact, nearly every aspect of the academic environment has been tainted by ideological shifts that deeply undermine the integrity of the academy.

In the name of ‘academic freedom,” faculty members select radicalized (think ‘Marxist’) textbooks that fit their ideological posture and, more often than you think, they pressure students to conform to their view of the world; not only in terms of the papers they write but what they write in their final exams.

Students say they fear poor grades if they do not follow suit.

That’s censorship. Academic freedom used to go both ways, meaning, faculty members and students alike were free to engage in intellectual debate without fear of retaliation. Now, board of regents and college presidents look the other way.

Unfortunately, that means a faculty member can impose his or her views on students, even to the point of threatening or intimidating them.

This is how it works: non-conforming students lack faculty support for grants; they get poor references; they suffer grade reductions; and they are overlooked for special appointments, and more. Boards of Regents allow these highly radicalized professors to lecture as they see fit, whether or not the lectures impune student sensibilities; after all, this is what the “university” is all about, isn’t it?

No, it is not.

Fellow faculty members are also not immune to this kind of dictatorial treatment where certain radical department heads in highly rated schools determine what is ‘acceptable’ ideology for other faculty members. They decline to participate in this ideological dictatorship at the risk of loosing tenure, or failing to get tenure, or not getting their studies published.

And there is more: sympathetic graduates from these radicalized departments are aided in securing appointments at top universities and, once there, assist others coming up to do the same.

This was happening when I was in graduate school in the mid-70’s so it is surely nothing new. It is just far more blatant today and far more commonly seen.

Parents are unwittingly paying for this in the form of spiraling tuition, but why? Clearly these parents do not know what is going on in the classroom.

I would yank a college-age child of mine from some of the major U.S. universities today and allow them time to mature enough to be able to stand up to the uncensored radicalism they will most assuredly endure as a student.

But here’s the thing: already highly impressionable students become mired in these radical environments, and become shockingly pliant that is characterized by a strong affinity for collectivism. They become followers, not leaders, in the course of their university education.

“Public” education was originally designed to preserve our intellectual culture

But today it has become little more than indoctrination and distraction. The mission to preserve our intellectual culture has been long lost.

This 15-minute video is well-worth the time to watch. The section entitled “changing paradigms” is highly provocative!

See also this 40-min “Stupid in America” documentary with John Stossel. Not much has changed, trust me. And we know for a fact that America is not keeping with the academic successes of other developed countries.

A pdf report published in 2013 by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance echoed years of ranking that show foreign students outpacing their American peers academically. When the Harvard researchers looked at data for 49 countries, a significant number of countries between 1995 and 2009 were improving at a rate much faster than that of the United States.

Do you know, or care, what your college-age student is being exposed to today?