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.
SAN DIEGO -- You know the stereotypes -- perhaps even believe them. College administrators these days care only for the bottom line. Professors can't decide anything or ever endorse change. When professors become department chairs or deans, they cross over to the "dark side," and forget their old values and friends.
Habib Sadid has made himself an easy target. For many of his 22 years at Idaho State University, the professor of civil engineering has poked and prodded administrators. He’s run to the newspapers when he thought no one else would listen, espousing claims of rampant “corruption” within the university. In frenzied e-mails, he lambastes his dean as an ineffectual "liar." He’s even filed a lawsuit, alleging retaliation for his years in the loyal opposition.
A debate over the teaching of evolution at Seventh-day Adventist college in California draws the attention of church leaders, who say students should be exposed to the theory and then dissuaded from believing it.