Curtis Dahlgren
TOWN v. GOWN: open letter to the Board of Regents
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 28, 2014

Dear Regents, U. of Wisconsin:

"I don't need to do a better job. I just need better P.R. on the job I'm
doing!" – Calvin of "Calvin & Hobbes"

As a constructive criticizer of the U.W. System, my timing may seem a bit off. I admit that you have put a good team on the hardwoods (plus the ice), but the real March Madness is the reaction of the global warming promoters to the winter we're still having. I'm writing today because it was 10 below zero at my house (March 26th) and some people had 14 below. This isn't the Yukon; it's the southern-most tip of the U.P., Michigan, USA ("and the next day it snowed")!

The new chancellor seems like a very nice lady (the anti-Shalala), but as she tours the state, especially the Northwoods, I wonder if she realizes the magnitude of Higher Education's public relations – and future financial – problems. As an alum, let me count the ways:

- U.W. communications professors are still trying to "sell" global warming (or whatever it's called lately); it's the last full week of March and the 3 of the first 4 days of the week averaged six below zero for lows. With the Great Lakes and the Arctic frozen over, we're not going to see much "warming" weather any time soon, but "experts" are still predicting worldwide average temps for the year 2099. HUH?

- The U.W. "mass" communications department participated in a federal study into the "process" of the dissemination of the news ("Critical Information Needs"), and the FCC voted to put "monitors" into newsrooms to further "study" (or intimidate?) the media.

- There is an increasingly alarming dearth of conservative faculty members – or for that matter, even male student body members (the national average is about 60 percent co-eds in higher ed). In other words, red-blooded American boys are shunning useless degrees and the liberal professors in Big Box higher ed in favor of old-fashioned vocational schooling – or just a real job.

- Despite the growing "bubble" in academia, universities continue to spend money like there's "sno' tomorrow." With a 600-million-dollar slush fund, money seems to be no object. Take for example the new Energy Institute building (how "energy efficient" is a 5-story atrium and outside walls made of glass (was this stainless Taj Mahal necessary?).

Before you jump to conclusions about me, BTW, you might first read the attached columns by me (I've written over 500 columns). I'm not a knee-jerk "anti-intellectual" because I've been there, and seen that the University does a lot of good, too. But I see with both eyes wide open. Most academics don't even look at both sides of most issues; "winnowing and sifting" have gone the way of the Dodo bird in ivy-covered ivory towers.

How are professors chosen anyway? I guess that doctoral candidates have to attend obligatory cocktail parties where their "leanings" are felt out, which in many cases is the "real" interview. If you're not radical enough, lotsa luck! Birds of a feather flock together, and the radicals have dominated the Big Box universities for so long they think their superiority is a "given" (like global warming and descending from primates). The "mass communications" experts assume that the people in the "outback" are so stupid that they will believe anything:

No global warming for many years? No problem, just make up terms such as "polar vortex" or anything
else that SOUNDS good!

People can't imagine how interdependent species evolved gradually? No problem. Just toss around a bunch of big words that sound very, very smart. But I like to ask a few dumb questions, such as:

Which side of your brain evolved first, the left side or the right side? Which end of your digestive system evolved first, your mouth or the other end? Depending on which, at one time you might have been all mouth or all ass hole (speaking of "words")!

CONCLUSION – recommended further reading:

The history of the university

Gown vs. Town; college orientation week

College orientation week, part 2

Social engineers; brilliant people or pond scum?

The soap opera: UW's year of bad luck

Has science ever been totally apolitical?

P.S. As a famous lefty once said:

"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it and at whom it is aimed." – Josef Stalin

PPS: [from FRC, 3/24/14]

At University, Charges of Religious Prof-iling

At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Dr. Mike Adams teaches crime – but he never dreamed he'd be the victim of one. Unfortunately for the assistant professor, that all changed when his ideology did. When he was hired as a criminology expert 21 years ago, Adams was an avowed and outspoken atheist – a worldview that was shaken to the core when Mike went to visit a prisoner on death row in 2000. The convict, a mentally handicapped man, had read the entire Bible – something Adams had never done. He resolved then and there to change that – and when he did, Mike was completely transformed.

The once-vocal liberal became a passionate follower of Christ, a conversion that ultimately bled over into his political beliefs. Over time, he started writing columns and doing media appearances from a conservative perspective – infuriating UNCW's forces of political correctness in the process. Like most universities, the faculty was a fraternity of liberals, who insist on diversity but practice anything but. After a slew of awards and accolades for his work, Mike applied for a full professorship in 2006.

Despite a glowing record, the University turned down his application. Apparently, the only promotion UNCW is interested in is the promotion of the liberal agenda. As his lead attorney, David French, writes in NRO, administrators engaged in the fiercest kind of viewpoint discrimination. It was "a process where they applied a made-up promotion standard that contradicted the faculty handbook, passed along false information about his academic record, deceptively edited documents to influence the faculty vote, explicitly discussed his constitutionally protected viewpoint, and allowed a faculty member with an obvious and outrageous conflict of interest to cast a vote against him." At one point, the University even launched an underground investigation (at the request of a transgender group) to determine if the professor was "transphobic."

Stunned, Adams sued, insisting the school had infringed on his free speech rights. After hearing the details, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom agreed to represent Mike, and together they embarked on a seven year journey to right the University's wrong. Last week, after winding through the appeals process, Mike Adams finally got the news he was waiting for. Although UNCW officials denied that they were retaliating against Adams for his faith – the court disagreed. After seeing the evidence, a federal jury agreed that Adams's speech was a "substantial or motivating factor" in denying him a full professorship. When pressed, UNCW officials couldn't prove that they would have made the same decision in the absence of his conservative beliefs. Although the case isn't over (the court hasn't decided what form of "relief" to grant – nor has the school decided whether to appeal), the victory is a major one.

ADF's French understands the significance of the ruling for other conservatives oppressed by academic elites. "Dr. Adams's story has now gone from a cautionary tale of the punishment that leftist universities inflect upon dissenters to a strong signal that conservative professors can indeed fight back and prevail." As the 4th Circuit Court ruled on this same case, "No individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment." We applaud Dr. Adams for having the courage and the will to fight back.

>> Unfortunately, in the world of higher education, there's only one school of thought <<< – and it isn't tolerance . . . [enough said?]

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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