There is one place at the University of Colorado-Boulder where conservative faculty can come out of the closet without fearing for their careers.
The three-year pilot of CU-Boulder’s privately funded program for a “visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy” has just concluded, and it’s being renewed this fall with a fourth scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Founded because of the university’s perceived “leftish reputation” and narrow range of acceptable discourse, the program is getting praised by its first scholar, author Steven Hayward (now at Pepperdine), and by scholars who interviewed more than 150 right-leaning faculty for a new book:
“An awful lot of conservatives in academia practice self-censorship,” Mr. Hayward said. “Well, I didn’t have to do that — in fact, quite the opposite. The administration and the donors who funded the program really wanted me to be a public presence, not so much to pick fights but to invite outside conservative speakers.”
As of this academic year, whose scholar is Sam Houston State History Prof. Brian Domitrovic, the program is formally hosted in CU-Boulder’s Center for Western Civilization, Thought, and Policy:
“If you go all in, it has been shown it can do very well,” Mr. Domitrovic said in reference to Boulder’s commitment to the program. “Conservatives aren’t always beating down academia’s door, so if academia is really unwelcoming, conservatives will do something else.”
Hayward also said he doesn’t expect the program to be replicated elsewhere because there are too few conservatives in academia to choose from: Getting hired in the academy is “a crapshoot for everybody” and conservatives already avoid grad school because their out-of-the-closet prospects are even worse.
CU-Boulder said it will “ultimately host up to four visiting scholars, one of whom will always be the conservative-thought-and-policy scholar.”
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