Stanley Fish may be telling academics to keep their opinions to themselves, but Gregory S. Prince Jr. thinks it is time for colleges to stop trying to make their classrooms neutral. Prince, the former president of Hampshire College, argues for professors to take all kinds of positions -- as a tool for challenging their students.
For a while, it seemed as if no professor could get more attention from the McCain campaign than William Ayers, the Weather Underground leader who became an education scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago and whose brief associations with Sen. Barack Obama have been repeatedly discussed by Republicans this fall.
In the ongoing debates over professors’ politics, right-wing critics make much of the fact that many surveys have found professors -- especially in the humanities -- to be well to the left of the American public. This political incongruence is frequently used as a jumping off point to suggest that professors are indoctrinating students with leftist ideas.