The title above links to an article at Inside Higher Ed that covers recent events at hearings in Pennsylvania relating to the so-called "Academic Bill of Rights". The basic news is that the major proponent of these laws across the country, David Horowitz, was caught using fabricated stories to support his contention that students are penalized at universities for espousing views contrary to their professors' supposedly liberal biases. Here's Mr. Horowitz:
Everybody who is familiar with universities knows that there is a widespread practice of professors venting about foreign policy even when their classes aren't about foreign policy... the lack of evidence on Penn State doesn't mean there isn't a problem... These are nit picking, irrelevant attacks.In other words, he doesn't need evidence, his assertion of liberal bias in and of itself is enough justification for writing laws to counter that liberal bias.
Is it any wonder that these laws are, by and large, Orwellian intrusions of politics into education? As for the supposed liberal bias of academia, here's an nice quote from the comments to the article:
And someone really needs to say this: Contemporary American conservatism has come to devalue not only evidence, but knowledge and the [search] for knowledge itself so completely that it is nearly impossible to obtain a graduate degree without learning to think far more clearly and rigorously than contemporary American conservatism will permit. By default, such thinking makes one a 'liberal,' and the statement, 'The campuses are full of liberal professors' is essentially equivalent to 'The campuses are full of professors who have studied, continue to study, and value knowledge.'As I and others have said before: if academics tend to be liberals, it's because modern conservativism has embraced a mindset that in many ways is the polar opposite of learning, critical thinking, and discovery of new knowledge.