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College presidents are ‘party’ officers, not scholars: professor

A non-leftist college professor said that university presidents operate more like apparatchiks in the Soviet Union and less like academics.

University of New Mexico Professor Geoffrey Miller made the observation following a controversy over antisemitism on elite university campuses. On Tuesday, Harvard University President Claudine Gay did not explicitly say that calling for the “genocide of the Jews” is bullying.

“Today I learned that Harvard President Claudine Gay seems to have published only 11 peer-reviewed journal papers in her entire academic career,” Miller (pictured, left of Gay) wrote on Wednesday.

He said that is the same amount he published in the 12 months prior to obtaining tenure. It points to the problem many universities face – their leaders are not scholars, but are bureaucrats.

He wrote on X:

The situation at Harvard is not unusual. The leaders of academia are not typically leading academics, in the sense of highly productive researchers or widely respected teachers. One might say they are career bureaucrats – but that would misunderstand their crucial ideological function. The American people need to understand that in modern universities, both public and private, administrators function more like party political officers in communist Russian or Chinese universities.

They are selected, throughou[t] their careers, largely for their political commitments, and their willingness to enforce them. Like Cold War commissars, their allegiance is to the party, not to academia where they happen to work.

“I mean ‘party’ quite literally: the Democratic party. Most American university administrators are loyal Democrats, and can’t really imagine why anyone wouldn’t be,” he wrote. “Very few are Republicans or Libertarians.”

Furthermore, “an increasing proportion of them are fully woke identitarian Leftists” who climbed the ranks by publishing “a short series of papers on woke topics, using woke ideological frameworks, published in woke journals – before turning to the administrative track that offers much more political power to propagandize, indoctrinate, and control.”

“I’ve seen many calls for university administrators to enforce the rules of classical liberalism and free speech more fairly. This is like asking a Soviet-era commissar to abandon their Communist party allegiance, and to develop an entirely new identity and ethos grounded in an ideology that they have spent their entire career fighting,” he wrote.

Don’t hold your breath, he said.

“It will not happen. Political animals do not change their spots,” he wrote. “University presidents who have prioritized amassing ideological power over producing academic research will not suddenly rediscover the merits of open inquiry.”

“They need to be fired, and replaced with academic leaders who are actually leading academics – rather than party political officers.”

Read the full post.

MORE: NIU hosts seminar on ending ‘White Linguistic Hegemony’

IMAGE: CSPAN; University of New Mexico

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