Ron Lipsman writes at The American Thinker on the life of a conservative faculty member. Unlike some, he came to the university (he does not identify his institution) as a liberal but became conservative through experience. He then finds, as many do, that his views leave him marginalized and, in pursuit of an administrative post, Lipsman stuffs his opinions for about 15 years. Now at lower cost to himself as he approaches retirement, he is speaking out. At the end he identifies three novel observations that, in my experience, are not so novel. First, he says that he is largely ignored when he speaks out, that the faculty said "Oh, that's just Ron being Ron." After a time that is, however, how most of us are treated. Only when you wish to seek a new post in the university do your views come up. Indeed, a way for the university to marginalize you is to put you on a committee to get a blessing that something is "OK because the conservative guy was on that committee and he didn't squawk (loudly)." (See my post from 2005 on tokenism.) Lipsman also observes that there are not enough people making waves, including himself. I hope this isn't true -- I think NAS, FIRE, et al. are making waves! But there is the fact that in the 6+ years of my blog I've had several co-bloggers, many of whom were also conservative faculty at St. Cloud. They have all left; there are few others willing to take up the cause. We have known about the chilling effect of political correctness for years; ice does not make waves. His last observation is that the liberal hegemony exists in many places, but seems easiest in academia. But where else does tenure exist? Stanley Kurtz has noted that "tenure turns into an incredibly efficient tool for enforcing political conformity" when controlled by one elite. That is, tenure is the means by which the hegemony perpetuates. Lipsman's article does not provide us with something new, but it does provide those unaware of our campuses today with a useful summary.
- October 09, 2009