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Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of the Week (April 13)

The College Fix presents a roundup of the top scandals, screw-ups, and stupid decisions involving college campuses. This week, one university wants to teach students to fawn over President Obama, while another recruits them for Marxist groups. But first…

3). The California Association of Scholars released a study arguing that the University of California engages in political activism to an extent that inhibits students from gaining a well-rounded education (for an example, there’s this). A Los Angeles Times editorial noted that several examples cited by the study amounted to completely unacceptable behavior:

The report contains several horror stories involving instructors who foist their opinions on students and it cites some tendentious course descriptions and reading lists. You don’t have to be a Republican to object to a computer science instructor who calls Arnold Schwarzenegger a “Nazi actor” or a community studies teacher who (according to a student) used her course as a vehicle for a “personal vendetta against the state of Israel, against Zionism, against Israelis and against Jews.” Subjecting a captive classroom audience to a one-sided political harangue is poor pedagogy, and so is stacking the deck in reading assignments.

Still, the LA Times reached this conclusion:

When that occurs, at UC or elsewhere, administrators need to remind faculty of the importance of open and uninhibited discussion. But the California Assn. of Scholars insists that more must be done to address the “crisis.” It suggests that the Regents require “annual campus reports of progress in returning the campus to intellectual health, making it clear that administrations that have not achieved substantial progress will be replaced.” Before instituting such an intrusive policy, the Regents should demand more proof of a problem than is contained in this report.

Proof? It’s as if the author of this paragraph didn’t read the earlier paragraph he wrote—the one with all the examples in it. In any case, the examples merely confirm what everybody already knows: The administration and faculty at the University of California are leftist partisans to a degree that shocks even jaded observers of leftist bias on college campuses in general. It’s unsurprising that neither the LA Times nor the UC administration want to fix the problem, but please, don’t patronize the folks at CAS by pretending it doesn’t exist.

2). It’s a shame that college kids these days don’t have enough opportunities to really get acquainted with their old pal, Karl Marx. Sure, sociology departments do their best, but is it enough? Thankfully, Portland State University has stepped up to offer a course that is all about Marx, his ideas, and the world they helped build (or—for our readers in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, parts of Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia—completely destroyed).

Students will enjoy fascinating lectures titled “The Relevance of Marxism” and “The Future Socialist Society.” They will no doubt learn about tyrannical dictators like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, who preached Marxist philosophies while starving and murdering millions of their own citizens. Students will deepen their appreciation for Marx’s economic system, which has been repudiated by absolutely every economist of worth, including the very liberal Paul Krugman.

Students will also be blessed with the opportunity to go out and get some real hands-on Marxist experience, as they are required to attend meetings of the International Socialist Organization, NAACP, and Industrial Workers of the World. They will also complete a community project.

They will learn, of course, that the best Marxist community projects are lengthy endeavors. They are called five-year plans. Others unfold all at once, and these are called great leaps forward.

1). Surely, you say, they’re couldn’t be a university course more insufferable than Portland’s Marxism class. Well, I’ve got news for you. Charles Ogtree, a friend of the Obamas, will teach a class at Harvard University that is all about Barack Obama. He has promised that the class will be unbiased. Here is what he has said about the Obamas:

“I’m an Obama fan, I love the president — love him and his wife,” he explained. “They were wonderful people to serve as a mentor when they were here in the law school at separate times in the 1980s. There’s a lot to learn.”

There sure is.

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